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Should I Accept A Counter Offer

There is no better feeling in the world to have gone through a grueling interview process and be offered a job which you deserve. You’re walking on cloud nine and nothing can bring you down. So you walk into work, and hand in your resignation to your boss, happy in the knowledge that you are going to a company with a better culture where you will be valued….and then your boss makes you a counter offer!

While a counteroffer can be flattering, chances are your boss has ulterior motives. Employee resignations can hurt a manager’s record. Or, maybe, he or she wants to keep you on long enough to find a replacement. Perhaps it’s their motive because it’s cheaper to pay you a bit more than it is to recruit, hire, and train a new employee.

In some instances it is more beneficial to accept the counter offer, however nine times out of ten, it’s not and you should seriously consider these reasons before making a decision:

  1. You had to quit to get a raise.Suddenly you became more valuable after you give notice? It should make you wonder why you weren’t valuable enough to deserve a raise before–when you were coming into the office every day and dutifully attending to your job duties.
  2. Things won’t change.The frustration, the stifling feelings, and the dissatisfaction that led you to seek new job opportunities will remain, and it’s unlikely that the bump in pay will make those things any more bearable. Whatever turned you off about your job prior to the new offer will continue to be irksome after you accept it.
  3. You may be shunned.When you give notice, you are effectively, dumping your boss. As in many types of relationships, the snubbed party begins to bargain: Give me another chance….Things will get better…. I can change! No one, after all, wants to be dumped! But once your boss’ anxiety is eased and you’ve agreed to the counteroffer, new emotions will set in: resentment, suspicion, distrust. You will likely spend your remaining time at the company on the fringes–excised from the inner circle for your show of disloyalty (and co-workers may resent the raise and how you got it).
  4. Job security will diminish. Your boss fought to keep you from quitting, sure. But when it comes time to lay off some people, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be somewhere toward the top of the list. Remember: Your boss wanted you to stay for his benefit, not yours. If he has the opportunity to get rid of you on his terms– now that you’ve revealed a willingness to be a turncoat–he’s likely going to take it.
  5. You’re going to leave anyway. Four out of five employees who accept counteroffers end up leaving the company within six months, due to the reasons mentioned in the above four points.
  6. You’ve already accepted an offer. And what about the new job offer you already accepted? By virtue of hiring you, that employer already has demonstrated a belief that you are valuable–and you haven’t even had your first day yet. Your current employer, on the other hand, has begrudgingly offered you more money to get you to stay to suit his purposes. Also, leading on prospective employer–attending interviews, negotiating, accepting an offer, allowing them to think the job has been filled–is a bad career strategy in general.

As difficult as it may seem to move out of a comfortable job and move to a new environment, you have to think back to the initial reasons and motivations of why you started looking for a new job.

If you need advice on how to handle counter offers or would like to explore what the future holds for you, then get in touch with us