By Kathleen Furore

I recently spoke with a friend whose daughter has to decide between two job offers very soon. One is a very good position at a very reputable firm in the town she most wants to settle in – and she is very impressed by the supervisor and co-workers she would be working with. The other is a similar position at what is considered to be a more prestigious company – but it is in a different state, and she doesn’t know as much about the team she would be part of. How can she, or anyone in a similar situation, decide which is the best career move?

Lynn Whitbeck, author of “Practical Wisdoms @ Work” and CEO and founder of the women’s online career mentoring site petite2queen.com, thinks it all boils down to one thing: Happiness.

“Happiness breeds success, and happiness starts by surrounding oneself with a supportive network,” Whitbeck says. “With the information given, I would advise the young woman to take the job with the impressive boss, friendly co-workers and desired location. There are too many unknowns in the out-of-state job.”

Telling someone to do what makes them happy, of course, might sound simplistic – especially to the person in the middle of the stressful decision-making process. That’s why Whitbeck suggests using a relatively quick exercise called CLARITY to assess any career move:

C – Comfort level: How comfortable are you with taking a position with little information or knowledge of company culture?

L – Long-term goals: Visualize your career and where you want to be.

A – Adaptability: Assess how easily you respond to change at your workplace.

R – Recognize the opportunities: What can you learn at the selected job?

I – Identify your support network: What do you need for happiness, balance and fulfillment?

T – True costs: Not just cost of living, but impact to your lifestyle and emotional well-being.

Y – Why: Why does this career move match your values and passions?

And there’s one thing I always tell job seekers in the early stages of their careers to remember: Nothing is forever! If you take a job and end up not being as happy as you thought you would be, there will be other opportunities to pursue!

Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at kfurore@yahoo.com.

Make the Interview Match the Resume!

Make the Interview Match the Resume!

If you’re an HTM student struggling to write a resume for an entry-level position, here’s how to craft your story so that your experience, education, character, and soft skills can emerge through a one-to two-page resume.

Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking

In a career-sense, what does “think positively” actually mean? How does someone practice positive thinking?

What is ‘company culture’ really about?

What is ‘company culture’ really about?

I’ve been hearing about “company culture” quite a bit these days, and about how important it is, especially within today’s challenging work environment.

Should Grads Accept First Job Offer?

Should Grads Accept First Job Offer?

The question many students have: Should I take the first job offer that comes along – even if it isn’t exactly what I’m looking for? Here, career experts weigh in with their advice.