Beware the Counter Offer

A ‘Counter-Offer’ is a tender from your boss to try and convince you to stay with your present company. You’ve offered your resignation and you’re already thinking about your new job, but a Hail-Mary, almost too-good-to-be-true proposition from your boss can be very flattering, and usually rather lucrative.

Maybe accept the offer and stick with the company you know? Sounds pretty good, right?

When faced with the harsh reality of losing quality talent – such as yourself – your boss will do (almost) anything to stop you walking out the door. Replacing employees is a laborious and expensive problem. But accepting a Counter Offer could be the biggest mistake of your career. And here’s why.
If you are about to start a new chapter in your career, you won’t have made a life-changing-decision lightly. For that reason, it is crucial to remind yourself of all your reasons for leaving before you meet with your boss. While “I want more money” is a satisfactory motive to quit, your new job should ideally also offer:

– Improved career prospects
– Professional growth and development
– Uncompromising office hours, commute, or excessive travel
– Company performance, or the wider direction of the business

In the meeting, your boss may seek to exploit any uncertainties you may have about your reasons for leaving, promising to alleviate your concerns, before extending the soothing ointment of The Counter Offer – hoping you will be dissuaded from leaving with a big salary increase, or a promotion.
A cunning careerist might use a resignation as a power-play to trigger an improved salary package and/or a promotion with zero intention of leaving. This is one risky move, because accepting The Counter Offer in any scenario means the employee-employer has shifted dramatically.

– You’ll need to agree a timetable for future reviews. Why only now are you being properly remunerated or recognized?
– Your loyalty is under scrutiny. What happens the next time you feel undervalued? Your boss will begin considering your replacement, and you just increased your cost with an improved salary
– Have your reasons for resigning been sufficiently addressed?

Counter Offers are intended to make you doubt yourself, but if you’ve made your mind up to resign, don’t be swayed from your objective:

NEVER accept The Counter Offer!