Why not to accept a counter-offer

Why not to accept a counter-offer

You have resigned from your job, but your boss offers you a counteroffer: better salary, hierarchical evolution, new responsibilities… How should you react? Here are some tips to help you take a stand.

First things first: what is a counteroffer?

A counteroffer reflects your current company’s intent to retain you on staff when they learn that you want to resign. It usually includes incentives such as promotions, salary increases, additional benefits… It usually means they recognize your added value, whether it is your knowledge, your personality, or the skills you master. But frankly speaking… isn’t it too late to do so after you quit? Can a few more bucks, an extra day off, or a spa-voucher really make you change your mind about quitting? In most cases, money is not the reason you leave. It’s usually the company culture that doesn’t fit your lifestyle and ambitions.

1. Turning back: a risky gamble

Even if your employer seems happy to keep you, this will not prevent him from considering you as “the one who almost left”. An unenviable status, which can weaken your internal relations and exclude you from certain opportunities in the future. For example, missing a next promotion. And that is understandable: by announcing your intention to leave, you sown doubt in the manager’s minds, who are no longer sure of your motivation within the company.

Moreover, your “potential deserter” status could work against you in the event of a layoff plan. Unlike your fiercely loyal colleagues, you have already expressed your dissatisfaction by announcing your intention to walk out. This makes you more vulnerable to downsizing. Keep in mind that a counteroffer is not necessarily in your best interest. Does it feel like your boss is doing you a favor? What if it’s just a temporary solution? Ask yourself what’s behind these sudden favors: chances are your company is only trying to keep you around as long as it takes to find a replacement. And once that successor has been found, you’ll no longer be in an advantageous position.

2. Follow your ambitions and interests

Your interests come first: don’t forget the reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place. If you need a change in your career, a counteroffer will not do the trick. You have the opportunity to start a new adventure in another company, don’t miss it. Sometimes, the grass might be greener on the other side. Your success and fulfillment are linked to your work environment, your tasks, and the values of the company you work for. Therefore, if your current job is not meaningful, it is likely that your motivation will decrease, and you will not be happy to go to the office, even with a higher salary.

Money can’t buy happiness.

3. Take the risk or loose the chance

Staying in your current job may seem like the most comfortable choice, because you have a rather good idea of what will happen next. Whereas if you turn down the counteroffer and take on a new career opportunity, your future becomes blurrier. However, taking risks is key to getting the job you truly deserve. Don’t get stuck in a work environment where you don’t feel valued and satisfied, whether it’s colleagues you don’t have a good relationship with or poor leadership. If the company culture doesn’t reflect your own values and ambitions, you won’t find it worthwhile to stay.

In any case, leave your company and your employer on good terms. Do things right. You never know, you might be back later!