What to Consider Before Taking a Counter Offer

Any good employee who is about to make a job change will probably face the dilemma of a counter offer from their current company. Resignations are never a pleasant situation, especially if you have had a long and successful career there. The promise of a higher salary, better benefits, the chance to assume a new role you’ve been wanting–it can be very appealing. What you must be aware of, though, is that it will probably come at a high cost and end up creating a lose-lose situation down the road.

Strained Relations

The fact of the matter is that 99% of the time your resignation has permanently altered your relationship with your current employer. You’ve made it clear that, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied in your present position, and you have chosen to move on to something better. Your employer probably now feels that you are either being manipulative or just biding your time before the next best thing comes along, and neither scenario is a good situation for them. If the workplace wasn’t already a tense and stressful environment for you, it is liable to quickly develop into one. You very well might find yourself in the same situation down the road, although this time, it’s possible that you could now be on the other side of the equation where you are being asked to leave because they have hired a new employee who is excited about filling your role. Just do a quick internet search on the statistics of accepting a counter offer, and you will see a sobering trend that most employees who accept counter offers are generally let go or end up leaving the company in about a year or less.

Closed Doors

Not only do you risk the chance of alienating yourself in your current employment situation, but the new opportunity that you had accepted prior to taking the counter offer is most likely eliminated for good. Most companies do not want to re-extend an offer to someone who previously accepted and then turned them down in favor of an enticing counter offer, simply for the reason that they don’t want to risk it happening a second time. Should this new opportunity have been the perfect fit for your personality and skill sets in a great environment, you will most likely experience deep regrets for casting it aside once your current job becomes unpleasant again.

Poor Track Record

As alluded to before, the chances are quite good that all the reasons you cited for wanting to leave your current job will resurface down the road. The difference is that now you have a poor track record with both your current company and the one who almost hired you. Your supervisors will not likely be as motivated to make further changes for you, and almost certainly not likely to make you a second counter offer should you resign again. New companies that you interview with, in the course of checking your references, will probably find out that you have accepted counter offers in the past and thus be less likely of extending a job offer to you. Although certainly not every situation plays by the same rules, the worst case scenario could involve the loss of your job and the inability to be hired elsewhere because of the circumstances surrounding it.

While counter offers may seem at surface level to be the perfect solution you were seeking, they are very likely to damage your reputation, prolong an unpleasant work situation, and leave you with lasting regrets for a missed opportunity. The wiser solution, if you have a good relationship with your supervisors and prefer to stay where you are, is to discuss with them whatever is causing you dissatisfaction and try to get it resolved in a way that maintains that good relationship between you. On the other hand, if you have accepted a new offer and turned in your resignation, unless there are some valid extenuating circumstances, it is probably in your best interest to follow through with your commitment. Either way, be sure to consider well every angle of the matter prior to making your decision.

If you have any other questions or are currently facing a counter offer dilemma, we would love to offer our best advice for your particular situation. Please feel free to contact us directly.