Here’s Why You Should Never Take a Counteroffer

If you’ve taken the step to get your resume out, talk to recruiters, and interview, there has to be something wrong at your current job. You may be interested in higher income or a promotion or the work environment could be unhealthy. Maybe you just need a change of venue. Either way, you’ve made some crucial turning point that has led you to consider a new role. When the job offer comes you turn in your resignation with a sense of excitement and relief. But wait. Your current employer makes a counteroffer. Should you accept? Here are some reasons why you probably should not.

Five Reasons to Never Accept a Counteroffer

  1. It’s just money. By that we mean, a counteroffer won’t change anything but your income. It won’t change the burnout you’re feeling. It won’t improve the negative culture. Your boss will still be a micro manager. The political drama won’t disappear. Whatever the reasons were that caused you to take that recruiter’s call—they are still here. Adding more money to your paycheck is always great. But we’ve found people don’t leave just for money; there are always one or two other reasons that tip you over the edge.
  2. Why didn’t your employer see your potential before you left? Seriously, if they valued you why didn’t they offer more money before you took the time to find another job. If you were feeling underappreciated before the new job took an interest in your skills, it’s almost insulting that it took your resignation for your employer to wake up to your talent.
  3. Accepting a counteroffer is quid pro quo. It’s more of the same. It’s your comfort zone. No big learning comes from staying within your comfort zone. Taking a new job is risky, but it’s an exciting, interesting approach to your career that will help keep you fresh, help you learn new skills, and push you outside the box to embrace new skills and challenges.
  4. Were you being underpaid to begin with? If your employer comes back with a counteroffer, it almost confirms what you suspected; you were being underpaid. If your current employer is willing to increase your pay when you threaten to resign the reality is that they were fine underpaying you to begin with. How appreciated does that make you feel?
  5. Will your employer even trust you if you stay. Doesn’t deciding to seek employment elsewhere break some sort of trust between you and your boss? Resignation can be viewed by some as a lack of loyalty, so even though they’re making a counteroffer, the environment you’re stepping back into is likely to change—and not in a positive way. This could limit your future growth with the company in the long term. Too, if a layoff is coming down the road, could you be at the top of the pile because of your perceived lack of loyalty? It’s something to think about.

Think your response to a counteroffer over very carefully. It can be flattering to have two employers in a bidding war over your skills, but there is a darker side to the counteroffer that must be considered. Many times, a counteroffer is a way of buying time for the employer to find your replacement, potentially for a lower salary.

Blackstone Talent Group has seen all the tricks of the employment craft. We’d like to offer you a confidential conversation with one of our tech recruiters. We can help you figure your next career move. Call on us.

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