CHOOSING AMONG JOB OFFERS

First, make sure you know enough about the organization, the job, and the details of each offer to weigh one offer against another. If you lack information, seek it out by asking the employer, researching the organization, and talking to others who work at or are familiar with the organization or job. Ask your career services staff if they have had feedback from past students who have taken jobs with the organizations you are considering, and check to see if your career office has an alumni adviser to help you make contact with alumni working for these organizations.

There is no perfect formula for making your decision, but one of the best ways to begin is by making a list of all of the features that are important to you in your first job. These may include such items as the type of work you’ll be doing, the organization’s reputation/prestige, training program, salary, specific benefits, location of job, opportunity for advancement, work environment, opportunity for free time (evenings and weekends), opportunity for travel, colleagues with whom you’ll be working, and so forth. Add every possible item you can think of to your list.

WHAT MATTERS MOST?

After you have all the features on your list, rank them in order of their priority to you. For example, type of work may be most important to you, followed by salary, and then specific benefits.

Next, look at each job offer you are considering, and rate the features of each using a scale of one to five (with five being excellent and one being poor). For example, if ABC Company’s offer provides a great starting salary, you’ll most likely give that feature a “5” under ABC. If XYZ Company’s offer provides a lesser starting salary, XYZ might earn a “3” rating for salary. (See the sample below.)

After you have finished rating all the features for all your offers, add up the scores for each offer. Although this is an inexact science, it is a way to demonstrate which offer provides you with the most of whatever features are important to you.

WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS CAREFULLY

In the final analysis, remember to weigh carefully what is most important to you. Don’t be unduly swayed by the job title or the prestige of the organization and how it will impress your relatives. While it is helpful to get advice from family and friends, you are the one who will be going to work every day. You need to be sure that your job will be a good experience for you and will allow you to achieve your initial goals. Remember, though, that no job is perfect or able to meet all your needs. Consider the factors that you are willing to compromise on or have met in other ways. For example, if you enjoy travel and your job provides little opportunity for it, you can use long weekends and vacations for this interest.

NOTHING IS FOREVER

Keep in mind that while you want to make the best possible decision at this moment in time, your decision is not irrevocable. The odds are great that you will not remain with your first employer for your entire career. As you progress in your career, you will continue to learn which features are of highest priority for you (your priorities will also probably change with time) and how to find the best opportunity to have these priorities met. Good luck!

Sample Rating Sheet for Multiple Job Offers
FEATURE
(IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE)
ABC
COMPANY
MNO
COMPANY
XYZ
COMPANY
Challenging work 4 5 4
Advancement opportunities 3 4 2
Medical benefits 5 5 5
Salary 5 3 5
401(k) retirement plan 4 4 3
Dental benefits 4 4 4
Training program 3 4 4
Life insurance 4 4 3
Job location 5 4 4
Workplace environment 4 3 4
Opportunity to travel 4 2 2
Tuition reimbursement
for grad school
5 4 1
Total Rating: 50 46 41
Create your own list of features that matter to you and list them in order of importance, with the most important feature appearing at the top of your list. Then, rate the features of each company’s offer on a scale of one to five (five=excellent; 1=poor). In the sample to the left, the offer from ABC Company has the highest rating, indicating that ABC’s offer provides more of the features that matter to the sample job seeker. This is one way to compare job offers.

by Marcia B. Harris and Sharon L. Jones. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

As part of the NOVA Online NCDM Webinar Series 2019 – the How to Research a Company webinar is being offered today at 12:15 pm.  Learn more and register at https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q1gb5zwz17m8jt5/.

4 Ways to Focus on Your Career Development

It’s National Career Development Month (NCDM).  Below are four things you can do to focus on your career development this month.

  1. Visit NOVA’s Career Services website to learn more about career development.
  2. Participate in the Career Development Webinar Series – a lunchtime webinar series created to help you make informed decisions about your academic and career goals.  All webinars are free, but registration is required.
  3. Check out NOVA’s Events calendar for information about programs supporting NCDM being offered across the college.
  4. Follow NOVA Online on Twitter to receive a daily inspirational quote.

54th Annual Poetry and Art Contest for NCDM

Help celebrate National Career Development Month by participating in the 54th Annual NCDA Poetry and Art contest. This year’s theme is “My Inspiring Future Career”. There are various division areas for the contest including adult student – 18 and older enrolled in school as well as open adult – 18 and older not enrolled in school.  Learn more about the contest here.

Advising Week Spring 2020 Comes to an End – Let’s Review

As advising week comes to an end, now is a good time to reflect on the week and the progress you are making towards achieving your academic and career goals.  At the beginning of the week you were encouraged to do the following:

  1.  Reflect on your academic and career goals.
  2.  Review your Advisement Report.
  3. Communicate with an advisor about your academic and career goals.
  4. Put courses you plan to take in your shopping cart in NOVA Connect so you will have the specific information needed when it’s time to register.
  5. Participate in the NOVA Online Advising Week Spring 2020 lunchtime webinar series.
  6. Enter a post in the Advising Week Spring 2020 discussion board in the NOVA Online Virtual Student Union to earn a chance to win a Rocketbook.

How did the week go?  Are you ready for your next semester or term?  Remember, NOVA offers many services and resources to support you.  Take a moment and review past blog posts to learn more.

As you move forward, below are some deadlines to keep in mind.

Registration

  • In progress for current students.
  • Opens on November 11 for new students.
  • Registration ends at 11:59 pm on the day prior to a session start date.

Payment

Spring 2020

  • If you enroll through April 22 payment is due by 5 pm on April 23 or your classes may be dropped.
  • If you enroll on April 23 or later payment is due by 5 pm the next business day after you enroll or your classes may be dropped.

Information about payment methods is available at https://www.nvcc.edu/payment/methods/index.html.

Your Final Semester is Almost Here!

 

Congratulations to all students who will be preparing for their final semester !  You have almost reached the finish line. The following are a few things to do in preparation for graduation:

Apply for graduation. Access NOVA’s graduation website to view the Crossing the Finish Line: NOVA’s Graduation Program video and complete the Graduation Application Form.  The deadline to apply for graduation is March 1.

Update your resume.  Review an action plan you may have created in FOCUS 2.  Utilize resources in Career Connection.  Connect with a career advisor/counselor.

Prepare to conduct a job search if you will be looking for a job or a new opportunity.  NOVA’s Career Services website is a great place to start.

Review websites of potential transfer institutions for information about applying, if you are planning to transfer.  Don’t forget to look for information about financial aid and scholarships as well.  NOVA’s Plan to Transfer website has many helpful tips.

Participate in employment and transfer focused programs.  Check out NOVA’s Events calendar to see what is happening around the college.

Don’t forget, in addition to daily blog posts, NOVA Online is offering a lunchtime webinar series this week focusing on topics to help you with preparing for your next semester. All webinars are thirty minutes and begin at 12:15 pm. Learn more about the series and register at https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q17oo4ni0mszh1v/.

 

 

Are Your Career Plans in Focus?

As you plan your schedule for your next semester, prepare to transfer, or get ready to begin a new job take a moment to focus on your career development.  Are you attending NOVA to pursue a certificate or degree, but unsure about what career options might be available to you? Have you decided on a major, but have difficulty answering the question – “What can I do with a major in _____?

Do you need to fine tune your skills or add to your skill set in preparation for a career change? Learn more about career options by utilizing FOCUS 2, an online interactive self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

  • Select a program/major based on your interests and aspirations
  •  Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

FOCUS 2 is free for NOVA students.   Learn more about and access the system at NOVA’s Career Services website.

Don’t forget, in addition to daily blog posts, NOVA Online is offering a lunchtime webinar series this week focusing on topics to help you with preparing for your next semester.  All webinars are thirty minutes and begin at 12:15 pm.  Learn more about the series and register at https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q17oo4ni0mszh1v/.

Earn a Chance to Win a Padfolio

During National Career Development Month 2019 earn a chance to win a padfolio by following the steps below –

  1. Participate in any career development program/event being offered across the college. Recommended events – any webinar that is part of the NOVA Online NCDM Webinar Series 2019.
  2. Access the NOVA Online Virtual Student Union during November 6 – November 30.
  3. Select Discussions.
  4. Review the Discussion Board Rules located at the top of the discussion board main page.
  5. Select National Career Development Month 2019 Contest from the list.
  6. Click the Reply button and respond to the following:
    1. What was the name, date, and location of the program/event in which you participated?
    2. Why did you select this program/event?
    3. How does participating in this program/event support you with your career development and achieving a career/professional goal?
  7. Click the Post Reply button

Students also trying to win a Rocket Book may not post about the same program/event in the Advising Week Spring 2020 and National Career Development Month 2019 discussions.

While you are in the discussion board, although not required for the challenge, we encourage you to read and respond to someone’s post.

Throughout November, read the NOVA Online Student Blog for posts with information to support your career development, participate in career focused webinars, and follow NOVA Online on Twitter to receive daily inspirational quotes.    Also take advantage of other programs/events offered across the college.

Three Reasons to Communicate with an Advisor

It’s Advising Week – an excellent time to connect with an advisor. Here are three reasons why –

Confirm the program of study you are pursing aligns with your academic and career goals. 

What are your academic goals? What are your career goals? Share these goals with an advisor. Indicate the program of study you are pursuing. Discuss whether or not the program identified is an appropriate choice to support you with achieving your goals. Discuss your plan for achieving your goals. Don’t have a plan – work with your advisor on developing one.

Review your academic performance. 

How are you doing in your courses? Are you making appropriate progress towards earning your certificate or degree or completing courses for the reason(s) you are attending NOVA? Through NOVA Connect, students can view their grades and an advisement report. The report indicates requirements that have and have not been satisfied for a certificate/degree of interest. It also indicates courses that can be used to satisfy program requirements. Prior to enrolling in courses each semester it is a good idea to review your report. Confirm the report indicates the correct certificate/degree. Review requirements and check the progress you are making towards completion. If you have questions about the program, concerns about grades, or any of the information provided on the report – share questions and discuss concerns with an advisor.

Identify challenges you have encountered and discuss solutions to address the challenges.  

  1. Refer to the following website for information on how to connect with an advisor: https://www.nvcc.edu/advising/my-advisor.html.
  2. How would you describe this semester? Are you earning the grades you intended to earn? Are you making steady progress towards completion of a certificate/degree? Are you making progress towards achieving your goals? NOVA offers many services and resources to support students. Communicate with an advisor about the challenges you are or have encountered. An advisor can work with you to address challenges, connect you to appropriate resources, and provide referrals when appropriate.

Don’t forget, in addition to daily blog posts, NOVA Online is offering a lunchtime webinar series this week focusing on topics to help you with preparing for your next semester. All webinars are thirty minutes and begin at 12:15 pm. Learn more about the series and register at https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q17oo4ni0mszh1v/.

Earn a Chance to Win a Rocketbook

During Advising Week Spring 2020 earn a chance to win a Rocketbook by following the steps below –

  1. Participate in any advising week program/event being offered across the college. Recommended events – any webinar that is part of the NOVA Online Advising Week Spring 2020 webinar series.
  2. Access the NOVA Online Virtual Student Union during November 5 – November 10.
  3. Select Discussions.
  4. Review the Discussion Board Rules located at the top of the discussion board main page.
  5. Select Advising Week Spring 2020 Contest from the list.
  6. Click the Reply button and respond to the following:
    1. What was the name, date, and location of the program/event in which you participated?
    2. Why did you select this program/event?
    3. How does participating in this program/event support you with achieving your academic goals?
  7. Click the Post Reply button

While you are in the discussion board, although not required for the challenge, we encourage you to read and respond to someone’s post.

Throughout Advising Week the NOVA Online Student Blog will provide you with tools to plan effectively, resources to help guide your decisions, and answers to frequently asked questions.  Programs to support you will also be offered across the College. Take advantage of Advising Week events online as well as on campus as you plan your schedule and prepare to register for courses.

Advising Week for Spring 2020 is Here!

Advising Week is offered every fall and spring at NOVA as a time for students to reflect upon their academic goals and career development in preparation for planning and evaluating their schedule for next semester.

Get the most out of Advising Week by following the steps below:

  1. Reflect on your academic and career goals. If you need more information about career options or would like to learn about a resource to help you build a career plan visit NOVA’s Career Services website.
  2. Review your Advisement Report. The report indicates requirements that have and have not been satisfied for a certificate/degree of interest. It also indicates courses that can be used to satisfy program requirements.
  3. Communicate with an advisor about your academic and career goals. If you are pursuing a certificate or degree check with your advisor to make sure you are pursuing a program of study that aligns with your goals. Also make certain the program of study listed on your advisement report is the program of study you are pursuing.   It is a good idea to have a copy of your academic plan, advisement report, and/or career plan handy when communicating with an advisor.
  4. Put courses you plan to take in your shopping cart in NOVA Connect so you will have the specific information needed when it’s time to register. Priority registration begins today.  Open registration begins on November 11.
  5. Participate in the Spring 2020 NOVA Online Advising Week lunchtime webinar series. See below for the webinar schedule.  The webinars will begin at 12:15 pm EST and end at 12:45 pm.
    • Getting Ready for Your Next Semester – Tuesday, November 5
    • What Can I Do With a Program of Study In . . .? – Wed., November 6
    • Support Services and Resources for Students – Thurs., November 7.
    • Learn more and register at https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q17oo4ni0mszh1v/.
  6. Earn a chance to win a Rocketbook by participating in the Advising Week Spring 2020 discussion board in the NOVA Online Virtual Student Union during November 5 – November 10. For more information access the VSU, select “Discussions”, then select “Advising Week Spring 2020 Contest” from the list.

Throughout Advising Week the NOVA Online Student Blog will provide you with tools to plan effectively, resources to help guide your decisions, and answers to frequently asked questions.  Programs to support you will also be offered across the College. Take advantage of Advising Week events online as well as on campus as you plan your schedule and prepare to register for courses.