Just after you have offered your resignation, your current employer might surprise you with a counter offer. We often get asked by candidates, “should I accept a counter offer from my current employer?” Managers typically offer higher salaries, but they may also promise you better projects, more flexibility, a different supervisor, or whatever they believe can encourage you to remain at your desk for the immediate future. Stress on “the immediate future”. Before you get tempted to stay with this employer, you need to consider several drawbacks to accepting counter offers. Certain incentives may appear tempting; however, you have to decide if you will likely regret accepting counter offers over the next few months or even days.
Why You Should Remain Wary of Counter Offers
Even though the counter offer may seem like it will solve some short-term issues that you have with your job; it’s unlikely to offer you a long-term career advantage. These are just a few common problems employees face after they take back their resignation:
Perception of Disloyalty
The Washington Post reported upon a survey of common reasons that people leave high-paying tech jobs. No, people don’t always switch jobs to gain a higher salary. They often leave because they don’t care for their boss, the company culture, their assignments, or the work environment.
You have little assurance that any offers to change things will last long against an ingrained culture. In fact, your manager may consciously or even unconsciously perceive you as disloyal and make the situation even worse. The next time the company faces layoffs, your name could top the list, and it’s also less likely to be on the short list for quick promotions.
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You Shouldn’t Have to Quit to Make Your Job Better
What if you decided to accept a new job mostly because of a higher salary and your current employer offers to match or even exceed it? At first, it might seem like a lot less hassle to just stay where you are than to move. However, you should consider the long-term implications of accepting more money to decline a new job offer.
If you surprised your boss with your resignation letter, he might feel like he’s in a bind right then. You may get a raise in order to keep you working on a project with a tight deadline or because the company has exhausted its training or recruiting budget. If you already made your employer aware that you wanted a raise or some other improvement in your current situation, your boss should not have waited until handed him your notice to address your concerns.
Why didn’t they pay you more before you got ready to leave? It’s probably either because they did not value your work enough or simply because they though they could get away with a lower salary because they believed you did not value your work enough. The next time you want more money or have another problem taken care of, will you have to threaten to leave again?
Counter Offers Tend to Address Short-Term Issues
As a high-performing employee, you probably have long-term career and lifestyle goals. It’s very likely that an increase in salary or other offer won’t offer you a long-term solution. It’s true that sometimes your vision of your future won’t match your employer’s vision. In that case, you may need to move to a company with a culture that better suits your own personality and goals.
Don’t Let Counter Offers Catch You Off Guard
You should not let a counter offer surprise you. Recruiting and training talent costs companies money. If you’re a key employee on an important project, you probably have a lot of short-term value for your company; however, you can’t be certain that you will have long-term value after your manager already knows you have tried to quit once. Your boss probably has many motivations to try to talk you out of taking another job. Still, once you accept a counter offer, you’ve lost a lot of bargaining power.
By the time you have taken the trouble to explore other job opportunities and find attractive offers, you already know why your new offer appears more attractive than your present situation. If you thought your employer would offer you a higher salary or a better situation before you accepted another job, you probably wouldn’t have expressed an interest in a different opportunity. Even though extra pay, more time off, a new project, or a different team leader may seem like an improvement, in the long run, your prospects probably won’t improve for many reasons.
In fact, your prospects could even decline. Once you’ve already tried to quit, your current manager may start looking for a better opportunity to replace you. It’s much better to leave a job on your terms and with another job offer in your hands than to leave on their terms when you may not have a new office and higher salary waiting for you.
Decide Consulting is a software and IT Staffing firm based in Houston, TX. Founded by veteran software consultants, Decide has developed proprietary methods for finding problem-solving IT personnel. Our Software products focus on the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and Healthcare markets.