To accept or not to accept – should you take a counter offer?

You’ve been at a company for while and things are starting to grate on you. Maybe you’re not getting the opportunities you’re looking for, you don’t like your boss, you’re not paid what you deserve and so you’ve been exploring new job opportunities.

You’ve been through a series of interviews with a new company and hooray, you’ve been offered the job! You go to resign and unexpectedly your current company suddenly start offering you things to make you stay and it makes you question your decision and whether you should actually resign – but should you listen and accept a counter-offer?

Typically, three of the top counter-offer strategies include:

  • increasing your salary
  • giving you a promotion or promise of a promotion
  • getting you to meet with some senior people to address any of the various issues that you may have highlighted with your role/the company

We get it, it’s flattering – suddenly you have all this attention, you feel like you can ask for anything, you feel like all your issues are being addressed and after all, you know the job you’re doing currently and the people you work with – can you deal with starting again at a new firm?

Well, consider these points now:

  • OK so money talks. Money is the reason we work at the end of the day and it’s very easy to get swayed by it. But ask yourself the question – why is it that you weren’t given this pay increase before? Have you been asking for a pay review for a while but kept getting declined for various reasons? So why is it that now you’ve resigned the company have suddenly magically found the money you’ve been asking for all along? Because they are panicking! Remember that it is costly to find and train up a replacement so adding a few extra thousand to your pay packet is nothing in comparison.
  • Giving you more responsibility or a different job title is an easy, quick win for a company after you resign but is it actually helping you? Are you going to be rewarded accordingly for it and has your manager been clear about what your new remit is, your objectives, how your performance will be measured? How will an instant promotion impact everyone else in the team? Make sure you take the time to properly evaluate the prospect.
  • Ah the senior people that suddenly have all the time in the world for you that you’ve never met or spoken to before – this is a tactic companies use. It is a great opportunity to speak with senior people and address concerns that you may have but make sure you get your longer-term concerns addressed and you’re not being given false promises or quick fixes.

Now we’re not saying that you definitely shouldn’t accept a counter-offer but our two top tips are:

1 – Make sure you take time to think carefully about your options and in particular what it was that made you start exploring job opportunities in the first place – if you stay with your current firm are those reasons still going to apply?

2 – Whatever you get promised, GET IT IN WRITING!! We can’t emphasise the importance of this enough!!

Bear in mind that statistics show that 9 our of 10 people who accept a counter offer leave anyway within 6 months!