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What is a counter offer and should you accept it?

21st February 2019

What is a counter offer and should you accept it?

Switching jobs can be tricky. There is an element of secrecy involved – keeping your interview quiet from your current employer. And then there is the pressure of going through the interview.

But you got through it. You got the job offer and you’ve prepared your resignation letter to give to your current employer. Happy days!

Or not?

Your current employer doesn’t want you to leave. They say you are a valuable member of the team. They think you have more to give to the company, so they make a counter offer.

What is a counter offer?

A counter offer is basically an offer from your current employer to try and keep you, if you have been offered a new role. They will try and rival your new offer.

This can come in many forms. It could be an increase in salary or the benefits you receive. It could be a change to your job role – a promotion, change in job title or different responsibilities. It could be a combination of different things.

The counter offer is their pitch to try and keep you.

Should you accept it?

In short, unless it is an exceptional counter offer that is impossible to refuse, the answer is no.

Think about it this way: how much does your company really value you if you had to resign before they gave you what you are really worth? Yes, they’ve made a counter offer to try and keep you, but why has it taken this long? The fact that you were looking in the first place shows where you heart is. There were obviously circumstances that made you look to leave in the first place, will the counter offer change that?

There’s also some problems with accepting the counter offer. If they’ve offered you a salary increase, where is this money coming from? Is it your next pay rise, just slightly earlier? Also, they now know that you are unhappy and will question your loyalty going forward. Many employers will remember this when promotion comes around. Luckily, not every employer is like this, however a lot are.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, statistics show that if you accept a counter offer you will probably be out the door within a year anyway. Whether this is your choice or forced upon, the result is the same.

So what should you do?

You’ve put in the effort, gone through the process, got the offer. Why not take it? The counter offer made be very good, but why did you want to leave in the first place?

Of course, at the end of the day it is your choice. You have to weigh up the options and decide what is best for your future career. No one else can do this for you. However, in most cases the best option is to take your new role.





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