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counter offers Print This Page

Congratulations! You've just accepted an offer for the job you've been chasing for months. You are excited and relieved, but you're wondering how your boss is going to react when you resign. If you are a valuable resource, then your boss and your company won't want to see you walk out the door, especially to the competition. They will make every attempt to convince you to stay, either by:

  • Making you a counter offer
  • Making you feel incredibly guilty and disloyal
  • 'Loving' you liked they've never 'loved' you before – be suspicious of this

Being made an attractive counter offer is instantly good for your ego, but you must take a number of things into consideration before saying "thanks" or "no thanks":

  • You have only received a counter offer because you resigned. It is a purely reactive tactic from your employer and should make you wonder whether you need to resign every time you want to improve your situation. If your employer thought you were truly worthy, why didn't they improve your situation anyway?
  • Do your reasons for wanting to leave still exist? You may have a number of reasons – salary too low, no promotion in sight, don't like your boss. You may be offered more money to stay, which can be tempting, but if you still have other issues outstanding, you'll probably end up leaving anyway.
  • Despite what your employer is saying to you, they will probably now consider you a risk and may make contingency plans without your knowledge. You may not be seen as a true member of the team
  • The counter offer could simply be an interim tactic from your employer to bridge a gap while they look to replace you.

Much research has been done to measure what happens to employees who accept counter offers. The research shows that only 6 out of 100 employees are still with their company after 12 months. This suggests 2 important points:

  • Salary was hardly ever the prime motivator for resigning – more money didn't ultimately change the true state of play
  • Things didn't take long to return to the way they were before the resignation

So before accepting a counter offer, ask yourself why your employer has made the offer. There is a strong possibility that the cons will outweigh the pros and you will realize that your decision to resign was right after all.

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