How to weigh up a counter offer

Despite your desire to move on, your current employer will be keen not to let you go.

When job-seeking it’s wise not to put all your eggs in one basket, but on the flipside, you may be faced with a tough decision in the event of a bid by your existing company to keep you with a counter offer.

It’s important to be aware that despite your desire to move on, your current employer will be keen not to let you go. More often than not, the day you resign you’ll be offered a raise and/or possible promotion. Although these counter offers may be attractive, there are risks in accepting them.

Why? Counter offers often result from employers' suspicions that they may be losing an especially talented employee. There's something that another company sees in you, so you are worth investing in a little further. However, rejecting an offer from a new firm could be detrimental to future opportunities.

Many people who accept a counter offer don’t often last in the role long term. Therefore, consideration needs to be given when presented with this situation.

Presented with a counter offer? Now what?

  • Your reasons for wanting to leave will still exist. They'll just be slightly more tolerable in the short-term because of the terms made by your existing company to keep you
  • Even if the salary increase or promotion was the main reason you were ready to leave, in most cases, there are other factors at play that made you feel like leaving such as management style, unfavourable working conditions or burnout in your job.
  • Keep in mind that employers are likely making a counter offer much more for their benefit than yours. Why did they wait until you resigned to offer you what you're really worth to them?
  • A counter offer is sometimes nothing more than stall device to give your employer time to replace you.
  • By resigning, you demonstrate disloyalty in the eyes of your employer. You will lose your place in the inner circle and be considered a flight risk.

Make a decision

Carefully assess these points with relevance to your individual circumstances. Generally speaking, accepting a counter offer will ultimately be counter productive to your career aspirations, so think long and hard not just about what is being offered, but also about your long-term goals.

Tags: Job Search

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