The Counter Offer: Boon or Bust?

BridgeMost people agree: change is hard. So, when considering changing employers, be clear about why you want to leave your current position.

Why are you leaving? Is it a spur of the moment, “I can’t take it anymore” decision? Or is it a deliberate, well thought out career move?

Although we may not like to admit it, in the long-run, no one is irreplaceable. Certainly, no one else can perform your job exactly the way you do; but does that mean you can’t be replaced? No.

So, you’ve been extended a job offer from another company, and you’re ready to hand in your resignation. What should you do if you receive a counter offer from your current employer?

You may be flattered. They really need me, you think. But consider this: If you’re leaving because you haven’t received a raise in several years, or because you haven’t been promoted, why have you suddenly become so valuable?

If you accept the counter offer, your relationship with your current employer will change. Face it. You just fired your employer, and they’re in panic mode. What are the repercussions?

Here are some possible ramifications of accepting a counter offer:

  • You’ve increased your chances of being downsized first
  • You find yourself without a job in a few months, when they’ve had time to hire your replacement at a lesser salary
  • You become the person who stayed “just for the money”
  • You may damage your reputation with the company who offered you the new position—and word does get around
  • You’ve just been bought

So, be very clear and honest with yourself about why you are leaving your current employer. Then you’ll be able to genuinely thank your current employer for the counter offer, and move on to your new opportunity without burning any bridges.

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