Accepting a Counter Offer- Why it’s a bad idea!

counter offer

Great! You received a job offer!

Receiving a job offer is an exciting time! Chances are you’ve thought about the offer and you’ve discussed it with your significant other. The next logical step is to turn in your notice to your current employer. However, this is where it could get interesting and dicey. There are three potential out comes when you do this and they are:

  1. They accept your resignation and let you work out your 2 weeks notice
  2. They fire you on the spot
  3. They make a counter offer!

Handling a counter offer

If your current employer extends you a counter offer, you need to proceed with caution. Chances are they may match or even beat the offer that you have in hand in terms of salary. However, oftentimes there are many other reasons that causes someone to look for a new position over and above salary. For the offer in hand, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Would this move improve me financially?
2. Would this move improve my quality of life both at work and outside of work?
3. Would I gain new responsibilities by accepting this position?
4. Would this be a step forward in my career? (It’s not always a step up in title – but would I be more valuable later having taken this position)
5. Would it keep or get me back to “home”?

If you are answering – Yes – to 4-5 of these questions – you should be accepting this position and enjoying that decision.

The Reality of a Counter Offer

If you choose to accept a counter offer, what are you really gaining? Chances are that you were under-paid or under valued in the first place. This alone is enough of a reason to not stay with your current company. However, if you accept it, here what is really happening. By backing out of a commitment to a prospective employer, a candidate loses all respect from the firm’s leadership. Chances are, you’ll be looking for a new position again in 6-12 months as the root cause of the problem that caused you to look for a new role in the first place is most likely still there. You’ll also wonder “What If” I would have taken that other role.

What Really Happens

It’s never the same again. First, the company’s relationship with the employee is never the same. Most employees who accept counteroffers leave within six to 12 months, merely deferring their inevitable replacement. Once your current employer realizes you were looking for a new role, they’ll also think you always have your “foot out the door”. Your current employer will lose trust in you. There’s a good chance they’ll reach out to a headhunter to start a confidential search to replace you. This is a situation you don’t want to find yourself in! That shiny counteroffer is usually the start of a losing situation and sheep in wolves clothing!

Anthony Allen
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