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Which job should I take?

A clear way to evaluate and score job offers with a focus on what matters.

Tim Cheadle
Tim Cheadle
2 min read
A hiker in a forest, stopped at a fork in the path
📸 Caleb Jones

In a previous post, I wrote about what I value in a job. The values I outlined lay the foundation for what's important to me, what patterns of work I want to pursue, and how my job needs to take care of me.

However, when you're getting to the business of evaluating new companies and potential job offers, I find it useful to break each one down into elements you can easily measure and score. Here's my brief list of what I'm looking for at a high level:

  • Fun
  • Comfort
  • Leadership
  • Team sizes
  • Talent
  • Revenue & growth
  • Product quality & focus
  • Office & travel frequency
  • Modern tools & software
  • Employee turnover
  • Salary
  • Bonus & equity
  • Health plan

Interviews often end with, "do you have questions for us?" This list is an excellent way to kick start that discussion instead of your mind going blank. It's really important to discover what to really expect when you're past the honeymoon phase and doing the real work.

Of course, this list changes over time, and I may run across some amazing company that reminds me of other things that matter. It's easy enough to modify this list as you go. The key point is to keep each element simple, easy to discover, and easy to score.

When it comes time to compare, I throw this list into a spreadsheet and score each one 0-5, with 5 being best of class. I also weight each one, as fun and salary are much more important to me than travel. Then, just multiply each one by its weight and sum up the total. Feel free to copy my template.

Job evaluation spreadsheet example

This is not meant to take emotion out of the equation. When you find the right gig, usually you know it. This is just a way to get some of the decision making out of your head and into something more structured. Finding a new job is hard enough; keep things simple by reducing the mental burden.

What are the elements you care about, and how to you weight them? Did I miss anything? Let me know!

Thanks to Daniel Burka for helping me shape this post.

Tim Cheadle Twitter

Tim Cheadle is a product and engineering leader focused on building empathy and value to solve human problems.