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The Counter Job Offer: Why It Is Never A Good Idea To Accept...


Every day, this scenario is played out multiple times across the world. An employee, unhappy with their role or simply wanting to move their career onwards elsewhere, decides to look for a new job. Applications and interviews follow and eventually they manage to secure a role at an exciting new company which fulfils all of their requirements, offering great pay and fantastic career development too. The employee, excited about their new role, hands in their notice to their current employer. Then they get the counter offer…

What Is A Counter Offer?

Quite simply, a counter offer is an offer that is made by an employee’s current employer with a view to making them stay. The details of the offer will be different in each individual case but they may include things such as:

  • Increased salary
  • Increased responsibility
  • Option of flexible working
  • Better working conditions
  • Training and development opportunities

Should You Ever Accept A Counter Offer? No!

Undoubtedly, when you receive a counter offer, there is a huge temptation to stay at your current company. But statistics indicate that in more than 80% of cases where a counter offer has been accepted, the employee in question is looking to leave their role again within just three months. Why? Because generally if things get that bad that you want to leave, they won’t get any better, even with all the promises in the world.

Three Factors to Consider About Counter Offers:

1. What Is Their Motivation?

Of course, in some cases, the counter offer may be done with the best of intentions, in the majority of cases they are not. As soon as you hand your resignation in, you are in essence saying that you are unhappy in your role and want to work elsewhere. Even if you accept a counter offer, chances are your career development will now be severely limited as your loyalty has been called into question. Sadly, most counter offers are made simply to give managers breathing space to find your replacement.

2. What About Your Relationship With Colleagues?

Resigning from a company but then accepting a counter offer can have a negative effect on the relationship with your colleagues. They may ask questions such as:

  • Why did you resign?
  • Do you dislike working with them?
  • Do you think you are ‘too good’ to work here?

Once you have accepted your counter offer, you may have slightly different terms and conditions of employment such as an increased salary or access to flexible working and training. If your colleagues don’t have the same, this can cause friction and make working life uncomfortable.

3. Why Didn’t They Offer You These Benefits Before You Resigned?

If you think about it, if they can offer you these new terms and conditions now, why didn’t they offer you them before? As we stated earlier, chances are they are simply using these attractive terms to make you stay just long enough so that they can replace you with the least disruption to the business. Three months down the line, you could very well find yourself out of a job, having now missed the opportunity you earlier turned down.

Counter offers can be very flattering, however, they often nearly always end up in tears. If you’re unhappy in your role and have been offered an exciting new opportunity then go for it. Fortune favours the brave!

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