Refuse Counter Offer Or Your Career Suffer


So, you’ve accepted an offer to work for a new company and it’s time to quit your current job. Shouldn’t be too difficult.

You do all the right things: give notice, offer to help in the transition, finish projects, say thanks for the opportunity. But instead of just shaking your hand and wishing you good luck, your boss hits you with a counteroffer – one that includes more money, more vacation, and better benefits, it is inevitable!

While a counteroffer can be flattering, chances are your boss has ulterior motives. Employee resignations can hurt a manager’s record and the client relationship in such a competitive market. Or, maybe, he or she wants to keep you on long enough to find a replacement. Perhaps it’s their motive because it’s cheaper to pay you a bit more than it is to recruit, hire, and train a new employee.

You need to consider these reasons why accepting a counter-offer will be bad for your career.

You had to quit to get a raise. 

Suddenly you became more valuable after you give notice? It should make you wonder why you weren’t valuable enough to deserve a raise before. This is the easiest option for your employer as the realisation of replacing you hits them. They would rather give you more money than pay for another recruitment process.

Things won’t change.

The frustration, the stifling feelings, and the dissatisfaction that led you to seek new job opportunities will remain, and it’s unlikely that the bump in pay will make those things any more bearable. Whatever turned you off about your job prior to the new offer will continue to be irksome after you accept it.

You may be shunned. 

When you give notice, you are, in effect, dumping your boss. As in many types of relationships, the rebuffed party begins to bargain: Give me another chance. Things will get better. I can change! No one, after all, wants to be the dumpee. But once your boss’ anxiety is eased and you’ve agreed to the counteroffer, new emotions will set in: resentment, suspicion, distrust. You will likely spend your remaining time at the company on the fringes–excised from the inner circle for your show of disloyalty (and coworkers may resent the raise and how you got it).

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Job security will diminish. 

Your boss fought to keep you from quitting, sure. But when it comes time to lay off some people, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be somewhere toward the top of the list. Remember: Your boss wanted you to stay for their benefit, not yours. If they have the opportunity to get rid of you on their terms– now that you’ve revealed a willingness to be a turncoat–he’s likely going to take it.

You’re going to leave anyway. 

Four out of five employees who accept counteroffers end up leaving the company within 6 months. More money in a miserable job is not the key to your happiness.

You’ve already accepted an offer. 

And what about the new job offer you already accepted? By virtue of hiring you, that employer already has demonstrated a belief that you are valuable – and you haven’t even had your first day yet. Your current employer, on the other hand, has begrudgingly offered you more money to get you to stay to suit their purposes. Also, leading on prospective employer – attending interviews, negotiating, accepting an offer, allowing the them to think the job has been filled – is a bad career strategy in general.

You made the initial decision to make a move, don’t insult your own intelligence due to a bit more money and a job title. Stick to your guns and go for it.

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