Should You Accept Your Employer’s Counteroffer?

How to Make the Right Choice for Your Career

You’ve been offered a new position ─ a dream job ─ and have resigned from your current employer. It feels great, like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. But now your current employer has thrown you a curve ball. They’ve asked you to stay, and have made a counteroffer. They have matched, or even bettered, the salary your new employer is paying.

What an enviable position to be in. Or is it? Perhaps you are between a rock and a hard place. Should you accept the counteroffer and stay, or should you accept the new job?

What Is a Counteroffer?

A counteroffer is a salary, bonus, or benefits package that an employer proposes in response to an employee receiving a job offer elsewhere. And it’s more common than many people think. A survey by LiveCareer found that two-thirds of companies would make a counteroffer to an existing employee.

If you’re made a counteroffer, it’s going to play with your emotions. You’ll feel flattered. Your manager has finally recognized your true value. But you have committed elsewhere, and the thought of a new challenge is exciting. What should you do?

Why Do Employees Accept a Counteroffer?

Although 80% of employees who accept a counteroffer leave their current employer within six months, half of resigning employees still accept a counteroffer. Why might you decide to accept a counteroffer?

It could be that you love your current employer, and money is the one thing that sticks in your throat. The counteroffer has removed this.

Of course, you know your company, how it works, and your colleagues. It’s a big wrench, and staying does mean that you won’t have to go through a learning curve to come up to speed with new working practice in a new team. Staying is the easy option, isn’t it?

Why You Should Reject a Counteroffer

So, your boss has offered you more money, or better benefits, to stay. Are you really tempted? Here are some reasons to reject a counteroffer.

The reason you wanted to leave hasn’t miraculously disappeared

The higher salary you’ve been offered is attractive, but what has really changed? It’s time to be honest and think about the reasons you are looking for a new job. Do you want to know why so many employees leave within six months of accepting a counteroffer? It’s because the extra money doesn’t suddenly improve job satisfaction.

The relationship with your boss will never be quite the same

You just told your boss you were leaving, and more money has encouraged you to stay. You just know that your boss will always question your loyalty. Will they start looking for a replacement for you straight away?

Could you have written off your chances of promotion?

With a boss who questions your loyalty, what are the chances to advance your career with your employer now? Isn’t one of the reasons you are considering moving because you feel stifled or stuck with your current employer?

You aren’t really valued as an employee

You must ask yourself, why now? Why have I been offered a better package? Let’s face it, the only reason is because you have been offered more elsewhere. Will future pay raises be capped for you, until you are back in line with your employer’s salary policy? What does the counteroffer really say about your employer?

You could be in the firing line

You are now paid more than your colleagues ─ the rate you were offered with a new employer, or a little more. This could be a problem for you. If times turn tough, you could be the first in the line to be let go.

Should you stay or should you go?

Summing up, you’ve been made a counteroffer by your current employer, in response to an offer of employment elsewhere. Only you can decide if it’s right for you to stay. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I start looking for a new job/become interested in a job proposal?
  • Why is it that I’m only now being offered what I’m worth by my current employer?
  • Is higher pay really going to make me more satisfied in my current role?
  • What might my career path look like at my current employer?
  • Will an opportunity like the one I’m being offered be available if I change my mind about staying with my current employer in the coming months?

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