What you need to know about Counter Offers

Most people who accept counter offers finds themselves looking for a new job two to six months later because their situation was the same and the reason that lead them to look for a new job initially still hadn’t been resolved.

Whatever the reasons were for wanting to change jobs, you would have analyzed them and made every attempt to fix the issues that were possible to fix. So what does that leave you? Issues that weren’t fixable – the deal-breakers. They were the reasons you went out and found a new job that better fits your career requirements or goals. So why would you suddenly want to stay in your job just because your boss offered you more money?

If you previously couldn’t get a raise from your boss when you provided proof that you are underpaid, ask yourself: “Why is my manager offering me a raise now that I’m resigning?” If you weren’t valuable enough to be given a raise before, why would your boss be willing to give you more money now? Most likely, it is not because you’ve suddenly become a more valuable employee. It’s because your manager doesn’t want to deal with the work disruption your departure could create.

Let me state that one more time to be sure you understand… it is not because you’ve suddenly become a more valuable employee. It is because your manager doesn’t want to deal with the work disruption your departure could create.

Don’t waiver your decision to change jobs. You took the time to identify your reasons for leaving. You worked to fix all the issues that were within your control. There were issues that weren’t fixable and these were your deal-breakers. Because you couldn’t change the deal-breakers, you found a new job that was a better match to your career goals and aspirations. Don’t feel flattered that you’re being offered more money, cloud your judgment or cause you to make a bad decision. You already did your homework, so feel secure about the process you went through to seek a different job.

If you begin to second-guess your acceptance of the new job and consider accepting your manager’s counter offer, think about what else would change if you stayed (besides receiving more money). Review each of your reasons for wanting to switch jobs and take an honest look at your deal-breaker issues. Will they somehow magically disappear if you accepted the counteroffer? Nope. So look your boss in the eyes, smile nicely, and say “No, thank you” to that counter offer.

Be aware of trust issues.
At the end of the day, if you stay, you’re more than likely going to be perceived as disloyal to management for looking elsewhere for a job. If you do decide to accept the counter-offer and stay with your current company you will need to work hard to regain your employer’s faith and a good deal of effort will be required to recreate the trust within your company.
Unfortunately, they may no longer see you as loyal to the company and you may be in line to lose your job if the company was to restructure.

Don’t burn bridges
If you do decide to refuse a counteroffer, don’t burn bridges. Tell your employer you’ve made the difficult decision to take another job, and that you came to it after much thought. This is not the time to say that you felt undervalued and that you had a dreadful time at the company.

Your boss may have lots of influence on references in the future. Tell your manager that you’ve enjoyed your time at the company and have gained invaluable experience.
Is receiving a counter offer an indication of how much your company appreciates you or should you actually feel insulted by it?

Receiving a counter offer can be one of the most flattering feelings in the world.
No one would blame you for assuming that the gesture demonstrates that your boss believes you’re a valuable asset to the team that they couldn’t possibly dream of letting go.

But, experts say more often than not this couldn’t be further from the truth, with most recruitment specialists saying that what they’re really doing is buying time for themselves to search for your replacement at their own pace, and this is why you should think twice before accepting an improved offer.

Yes, you’re an asset, but only because it will cost more to replace you than keep you, especially if your resignation has come as a surprise or at a time when your company cannot be without resources. Boosting your salary or promoting you is a means for your HR to keep you within the organization until you become more disposable.

This isn’t to say you’ve not been valuable to your organization and they won’t be sad to see you go. If you’ve proven your worth, it is unlikely they will want to lose you. However, good bosses and hiring managers understand that people don’t remain with one company all their life and that moving on is a natural part of a career cycle.

People think receiving a counter is an act of appreciation, sadly it’s not. In fact, it’s actually a selfish ‘slap in the face’ to you, your reputation and your career prospects.
True appreciation from your boss looks like this: acknowledgment of your work to date, and a dignified, magnanimous wish of goodwill for the next phase of your career journey, leaving the door open for future engagement and collaboration at some future date.

The problem with accepting a counter offer is that now that you’ve told your boss that you’re leaving the company – whatever your reasons may be – you’ve effectively broken the trust in your relationship because your employer might question your loyalty to the company and your boss could be left feeling like they’re always waiting for you to signal your intention to leave. It’s also dangerous to assume that the salary or package bump you may receive will continue to rise.
Since the extra money to keep you on board has to come from somewhere, it is likely this was simply the money allocated for your next bonus or rise, diminishing the true value of the counteroffer.
By accepting a counter offer you also come across as an indecisive individual and you’re burning bridges with the company you eventually turn down after initially accepting their job offer – a career and reputation-damaging move.

See also – Why You Should Never Accept a Counter Offer