How to decide on your next company

Shay Mandel
8 min readFeb 8, 2020

Switching jobs is never easy. Making a change is always harder than continuing with the momentum. In some cases, you choose to move on, and in some cases, the decision is made for you. It doesn’t matter so much. If you’re in tech, chances are you will have more than one offer, and you will have to make a decision.

I’ve been in this place several times and used those changes in my career as opportunities to take chances and try out new things. I wanted to share from my experience some factors that you should consider when making such a decision.


As you’re going to spend a significant part of your days at work, you want to make sure it will be a good investment of your time. You want to be surrounded by people that are open, humble, fun to work with, that you can learn from, and that you can contribute to them as well. It is not always easy to understand all that from a few interviews. So you can do a bit more:

  • Search on LinkedIn for people you know that are working at the company or used to work there. Connect and ask them about the people, the atmosphere, the management and any other factor you care about.
  • Ask to talk to more people, besides the ones who interviewed you. Try to get to people that are in a similar role to the role you’re applying for. Ask them about their day to day, their relations, conflicts they had and how they were resolved. You’ll get great insights, that will also serve you in your first months with the company.
  • Look at the profiles of some of the managers in the company. See if they have published anything on the net, and read it. Not only the lines but also between the lines. Try to understand the way they think, and get a grasp of the culture of the company.

Personal Growth Potential

In her inspirational Ted Talk: The power of believing that you can improve, Carol Dweck talks about the Growth Mindset. For many people, growing and improving themselves is a source of motivation and fulfillment. If you are one of those people (and you should be), look for a company that can help you grow.

Make sure there are thought leaders in the company, people you can see as models and learn from them. Working with thought leaders can jump your knowledge and career immensely, much more than reading tons of books and listening to many lectures. Pay attention to how they make decisions, what considerations they are taking into account, how do they ask questions and how they write code. Some of the gurus of the software industry now work in very large companies. This means you may not have the opportunity to work closely with them. You may want to target working on more local thought leaders, who work in smaller companies. This way you will be able to benefit from working with them at a deep level.

Choose a company that fits the learning and growth goals you’ve set to yourself. In different stages of your career, those goals may be different, and so your choice may differ.

For example, let’s assume you got two offers, one from a startup, and one from a big company. How will you choose? Try to understand what’s the growth opportunity in each one.

  • Established companies are usually more ordered and structured than Startups. If you want to look into deep technical challenges, or learn how to deal with organizational behavior (not to say politics), how to present to upper management, or if you just feel you can make more impact when things are well organized, then an established company may be better for your growth at this stage.
    If you see the bigger picture, you want to learn quickly many different aspects of running a business, see how products are shaped, pivots are made, success and failures are being handled, or if you know that you thrive when things are less organized and you get more autonomy, then startup may fit you better.
  • If you want to move up in management, choose a dynamic company. Companies that grow fast (in sales/headcount/ product portfolio) will have more opportunities to grow, as teams grow they are split and more team leads are required. As the number of teams grows, there is a need for group leads. You get the point.
    You usually see this kind of growth in startups. But I say dynamic and not just ‘a growing company’ because in many cases when companies are changing a lot — either spinning off smaller companies or when people leave or being laid off, there are also a lot of opportunities for moving into different roles. This is much more risky, as you have to prove yourself in order to stay with the company and not be subject to a layoff, but if you do, you can move pretty fast.
    If you want a stable role and you’re happy with what you’re doing, you may want to choose a stable company, that doesn’t change much. It is probably less stressful, but also with less chance to make a big career move.

As an example, we at Next Insurance, are growing very fast. We hire great people that can grow with us. We invest in them, by providing a training plan, on the job learning through Guild Meetings, Meetups, training opportunities and a virtually unlimited budget for buying books. And since we grow so fast, there is always a need for people in many places in the company, so you can move internally to another role. It can be moving to a more senior IC position, into management, or between roles. People moved from Front End development to Backend and vice versa, from Agents to Product Managers and more. And since it is a startup, you get lots of autonomy and can influence a lot.

Your Direct Manager

It was proven in several studies, that people leave managers, not companies. For example, Gallup’s comprehensive 2015 study, “The State of the American Manager,” found that:

50% of Americans have left a job to get away from their manager at some point in their career.”

You want to make sure your manager is not one that you want to leave, but actually, one that you want to stay with. Good managers usually form good teams. Great managers make sure their people become great. When you’re asked during the interview process if you have further questions, use this opportunity to ask your potential manager how does he see his role. You’ll know pretty quickly if he is a people manager, or something else.

Having a great manager, especially early in your career, can influence your career in a very big way. Your perception of tech, quality, learning, processes, management, risk-taking, time management and investment, and many other aspects is being defined in the first year of work. It can still change in the future, but that requires convincing yourself that there is a better way than the “original” way.

You usually don’t choose your manager. But when you move to a new company, you actually can choose if you want to work with the manager you met in the interview. So the interview is mutual, and use it to check if this is someone you want to be your manager. And if you give it enough weight in your decision, you can actually choose your manager.

Location, Location, Location

It is an old punch line, that in real estate there are 3 most important factors, and those are: Location, Location, Location. When choosing a place to work, the location can be an important factor. Shorter commute, ability to walk or cycle to work are important considerations. But in most cases, there is more than a single company to work for in a reasonable distance, so don’t let this factor play too big of a role when choosing your next job.

Connection to the problem the company is solving

I believe that engagement and passion are very important for success. When you have the ability to choose a company that is aligned with your values and is doing something that you believe is good, then this company should be high on your shortlist. You can start by screening companies, and applying only those that fit your values. This will shorten the list of companies you have to select from, but will also save a lot of time during the interviewing process, as you will interview only to relevant companies.

During your interviews with the company, try to get the vibe of the company, and a feeling about the engagement and the passion of the people you talk with. If you can feel it from them, it is a very good indicator. Organizations that are able to engage their people have much higher chances to succeed, and they definitely move faster and are more fun to work in.


Compensation is often something that people give too much weight to, in my opinion. It is usually the easiest factor to compare, as you see hard numbers in front of you. But when you look deeper, you will see that the hard numbers are actually not that simple.

Every company has a risk, and the higher the risk, the higher is the return. That’s the theory behind investments. And you are going to invest a very valuable asset — your time! In investments, you usually multiply the risk by the return, and you get the statistical mean of the investment. In real life, let’s say you get to choose between options from a startup or Restricted Stock Units from an established company. How do you know what is the risk? One is higher than the other, but in what factor? It’s not that easy to evaluate it in real life.

Uri Ishon, one of my past managers, whom I learned a lot from, taught me that compensation should not be part of your decision making. If what you were offered is way too low, then it’s probably not a company you want to work for — either they don’t evaluate your skills, or you didn’t understand the role you were offered.
If the salary you’re offered is so high compared to the other offers, so that this is what makes you choose this company, then you’re probably dazzled by it, and you’re missing other important aspects.
Usually, you will be offered reasonable compensation, such that the differences between the companies will be quite minor. And then you’re better off looking into the other considerations described here.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, you will have to make a decision. I don’t think you should do it very accurately, have a spreadsheet with criteria, weights, and formulas. You should, however, consider several aspects, analyze them in your head, and eventually decide on what you feel is the right choice for you at this point in time.

Was this helpful? Do you have other considerations when making a decision about your next position? Please share them in the responses below.



Shay Mandel

Software Executive and Entrepreneur in heart. Avid bike rider (MTB/XC/Road)