dealing with counter offers


It is worthwhile, as a job hunter or successful candidate, to be aware of subsequent counter-offers from a present employer. These can be anything from a simple pay-rise to a promotion or additional responsibility within the Company - designed, of course, to convince you to stay.

While this may flatter you or tempt you - especially if you have worked for the Company for a considerable length of time - and most likely evoke a sense of loyalty or obligation, it is a good idea to put yourself in the Company’s shoes. It is a sad truth that they may have ulterior motives in asking you to stay, rather than simply making you believe you are invaluable.

For example:

  • Your superior may be simply watching his or her own back - resignations can sometimes reflect badly on the Management
  • It may be inconvenient for the Company to recruit a replacement at this time
  • It may be damaging to existing projects to change staff and it is often time consuming to train a replacement
  • Recruiting can be costly

All of the above suggest that the Company’s asking you to stay is far more beneficial to them than simply mourning the loss of a favoured member of staff. It is therefore important to stay objective and not fall prey to flattery.

Bear in mind …

  • The reason you decided to leave the Company in the first place, and whether or not you can seriously see this reason being addressed if you were to stay.
  • The impact your initial resignation may have had on your work colleagues, and indeed your superiors.
  • Your loyalty may be hereafter always in question and fellow colleagues may make life harder for you than necessary.
  • It is likely that they will have begun seeking a replacement as soon as they heard of your resignation.
  • It is extremely easy to be persuaded by having guilt trips laid - try and imagine whether the Company might show the same sort of loyalty to you.

Our advice to you is that counter-offers should rarely be accepted. After all, you have a new job to look forward to and, ultimately, had a motive to look for that job. When faced with a difficult decision of this kind, re-assess what is of paramount importance to you, and your future, and follow that judgement. It’s your career after all!