Counteroffers - What to Know Before Making a Decision

Jan 15, 2020

Congratulations! You have been offered a new job opportunity at your dream company.

You are ready for a fresh start in 2020 and feel that you’ve outgrown your current position. You want new responsibilities and the opportunity to advance in your career and this new job will do just that. However, when you go to turn in your notice, there will most likely be a plot twist. Your current employer may throw you a curve ball and extend a counteroffer. Because of the war for talent, counteroffers are becoming more frequent, especially due to the high cost of replacing employees.

If you receive a counteroffer, follow this piece of advice. Don’t respond right away. Take time to collect all the information you have about your current position and the new exciting job offer you have on the table. Lay out the pros and cons of each and think about why you started searching for a new job in the first place.  

It can feel really good when your current employer offers a counteroffer in fact, 50% of candidates that resign will be counteroffered. It makes you feel highly valued and could persuade you into thinking you need to accept the offer. But it could be one of the worst moves of your career. There are valid reasons why you should follow through with your commitment to start a new job and explore exciting new opportunities to further advance your career goals: 

Remember your frustrations

You started your job search for a reason. Maybe it’s because you aren’t passionate about the industry, your career growth isn’t advancing, your commute is too long, or your salary is not to your liking. Whatever the motivation is to get a new job don’t be blindsided by the counteroffer. 80% of candidates who accept a counteroffer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months. Remember your frustrations, keep them front of mind when making your decision. If you want to challenge yourself, you need to take risks.

Great things never come from staying in your comfort zone. Nobody likes change and feeling familiar and comfortable with your current employer might seem tempting, but will it bring you the job satisfaction that you desire? While no one can predict the future, accepting change will open the door for growth and new opportunities.

Honor your commitment

There are always new lessons to be learned on your career journey. One that should never be crossed is honoring your personal and professional commitments. You’ve accepted a new job and that company is counting on you. If you don’t honor your commitment, people may begin to see you as untrustworthy or unreliable. Word can get around easily to other employers and you don’t want your integrity on the line when searching for future jobs.

Know your worth

When your current employer extends a counteroffer think about where the money is coming from? Why weren’t they paying you that salary in the first place? If your employer truly values you like your new potential company does, they should compensate you fairly. A raise should not be forced by circumstances. 

Consider your relationships

If you accept a counteroffer word may get around the office quickly and damage your reputation with your colleagues. Before they may have viewed you as a team player, but now they may have lost your trust and avoid working with you. Colleagues may think you used a counteroffer to secure a pay raise which is seen by them as unfair.

Not only will your relationships be damaged with your co-workers, but your relationship with your manager could be on the fence too. Your manager is now aware that you are unhappy. They may be constantly worried that you’re looking for a new job, which can impact your career growth. Additionally, counteroffers are often times used to buy time to find a replacement.  

Overall, it comes down to the point that you started looking for a job in the first place, so follow through with your instinct and commitment. Proudly take on a new exciting job opportunity you accepted, explore the new horizons of your career because taking this leap could lead you down a new path of career success.