You’re looking for your dream job, and you receive an offer, but how do you know if this one is the one? Maths. Brian Christian, co-author of Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions has examined the science behind decision making and come up with the answer to when you should stop holding out for a better offer and just commit. It all comes down to one equation: your best option is the one you find 37% of the way through your search period. This is ‘optimal stopping’ theory, and it is a formula that can be applied to more than just hunting for your ideal job. It can also be of use to people on the other side of the table who are hiring new employees. The secretary problem, as shown in the graph below, is a well-known example of the dilemma faced by employers.