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Should I Accept A Counter Offer?

10.26.16   |   Job Search & Career   |   David DeMelo, VP of Sales at Treeline, Incorpated

should I accept a job counter offerThis question comes up more often than not. A person will launch their job search and go through the interview process with another company. If all goes well they receive a job offer, accept the offer, and resign from their current role. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, when you decide to accept a new job opportunity and give your resignation your current employer may present you with a counter offer. Maybe they offer you a promotion or a raise to stay at the company. Should you take the counter offer?

What you should really be asking yourself is what prompted you to start looking for a new position in the first place?  Did you want more money?  Was the company going through some changes?  Was the commute getting to you?  Did you not get along with your manager? Was it affecting your quality of life?  Whatever the reason, keep it in mind as you consider the new job offer and the counter offer.

Here are 12 reasons you should not accept a counter offer.
 

1. You needed to bring your resignation to your manager’s attention in order for them to consider giving you a raise.

2. Where is the money for the counter offer coming from?  Are you just receiving your next pay raise early?  Almost all companies have strict wage and salary guidelines which must be followed so you may be only getting an early raise.

3. If you accept the counter offer, your company may start looking for your replacement and potentially let you go sooner rather than later.

4.  You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy.  From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.

5. The same circumstances that caused you to consider a change in the first place will probably repeat themselves in the future even if you accept the counter offer.

{Related Article: 6 Signs It's Time to Look For A New Job}

6. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and invested in the company and who was not.

7. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high.

{Related Article: How to Decline a Job Offer}

8. When times get tough and the company experiences layoffs, your employer may well begin the cutback with you.

9. You used your new job offer as leverage, and now may have burned the bridge with your prospective new employer who was already offering to pay you more before a counter offer.

{Related Article: What To Expect When Expecting A Job Offer}

10. Once word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers may never be the same.  You will probably lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.

11. You let yourself be bought. Rather than risk taking a new/better opportunity, your boss was able to convince you to stay after you wrote your resignation letter. They talked you out of your decision.

{Related Article: This is Why I Turned Down Your Job Offer}

12. Accepting the counter offer limits you from really figuring out your career path. It would be better to take a new opportunity, and if for some reason it doesn’t work out, you can go back to your former employer with respect, acknowledging your mistake in leaving. Accepting the counter offer doesn’t give you that option. The great irony of considering a counter offer is that there is no possible gain, only loss. 

Before you even get to the counter offer stage, you should take a step back and think about what is causing your current job dissatisfaction. Don’t let surface level reasons be the motivator. Remember that a job is a job no matter where you go. Realize what’s important to you, and how another opportunity adds more value that your current opportunity doesn’t.

Take initiative.  Have a conversation with your manager, and educate them on some changes that can help you succeed. Do you think you need a raise? Do you want more responsibility? Can you ask for more flexible work hours? Ask your manager for career advice.  Give them the opportunity to help you and your relationship could get stronger.  

If those changes can’t be met or don’t fit your needs, then you will at least have a better understanding of what is motivating you to look for a new opportunity. 

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