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The Big Q: How should I approach a counter offer?

Posted on 18/12/2019
by Client Server

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In the first part of our special two-part Big Q, we were asked about the best way to resign a job. In part two, we look at what you should do when your current employer makes you a counter offer. 


When you accept a new position and resign from your current job, one of three things is likely to happen: 

  1. Your employer will say "Congratulations. See out your notice, good luck." 
  2. Or they'll say "Clean out your desk and leave this afternoon". 
  3. Or they'll hit you with this: "Hold off for another couple of days and let's talk this over." 

This is simply a stalling tactic to give the company time to try and persuade you to stay. After a couple of days, they will typically make you a counter offer. Perhaps they will offer a larger salary, more interesting projects, or  greater responsibility. 

Whatever they offer, the fact remains that you made the decision to look for a new role based on a number of reasons. If you take a counter offer, they won't go away, even after the euphoria of a few extra pounds per week wears off. 

10 things to consider before rejecting a counter offer: 

  1. What type of company do you work for if you have to resign before they offer you the type of work you want to do, or financially, pay you what you are worth?
  2. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counter offer.
  3. If your current employer really thinks you are worth this extra money, why were you not being paid it for the last X amount of time?
  4. Is the company going to backdate this sudden ‘pay rise’? Quite likely not. 
  5. Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? Is it your next raise early?  All companies have wage and salary guidelines, which must be followed.
  6. Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving within six months or being let go within one year is extremely high (90%).
  7. Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price, particularly in the tech sector. 
  8. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this point on, your loyalty will always be in question.
  9. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and who wasn’t.
  10. When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you. 

While counter offers may be attractive, they are wrought with complications. It may feel like your employer has come to their senses and offered you wht you're worth, but the fact remains they're doing this for their benefit, not yours.

Remember what sparked your job search - what spurred you to look for something new, something fresh, something invigorating. That can only come from taking on a new role. 

Photo: Freepik.com


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