Should you accept a counter offer?

Sounds like the dream situation doesn’t it?  You get offered a fantastic new job with a pay rise to match, then your employer offers you even more, and throws in a promotion too.

But beware of the cracks hiding behind the shiny veneer of a counter offer.  All is not what it would seem.  Stop and think before committing career suicide.

Job hunting

There may have been a number of reasons why you were considering moving.  Perhaps you felt it was time to move up the career ladder.  You may have felt undervalued or underpaid.  It could be that you’d lost faith in the direction of the business, or your career had stalled.

Whatever the reason, you got far enough down the line to secure an offer elsewhere.

So, what’s changed?

The answer is probably, very little.  So why would you stay?

Reasons to say no

Research suggests that people who accept counter offers move on within 6 – 12 months of accepting a counter offer, either because they choose to or because they are forced to.  There are a number of reasons for this.

  • The trust has gone.

Your employer will wonder if you are really committed to the company.  Secretly, they may be working behind the scenes to find a replacement.  Your colleagues are speculating about the new salary hike you received.  Quite simply, the relationship between you, your managers and your colleagues has shifted, and probably not in a good way.

  • You’ve damaged your reputation in the wider market

The new company pulled out all the stops to get you on board, you said yes, they celebrated – then you change your mind.  Whatever happens from then on in, it’s highly unlikely the offer will reappear on the table.  And, with the likelihood that you’ll be leaving within a year anyway, burning bridges is not a wise move.  Particularly with a role you liked enough to say yes to.

  • The reasons you were looking haven’t gone away.

Unless you were after a pay rise.  But, do you think your bonus is going to be as high this year?  Or your annual pay increase?  We’ve seen many cases where people’s increase after a counter offer has then been effectively reduced through low subsequent rises or bonuses.

Surely it’s not all bad?

Well no. Occasionally, things can work out to the good.  But in our experience, a happy solution is the minority outcome.   Change is a positive thing, move out of your comfort zone and take that new job you worked so hard to get!

If you’re looking to progress your career, get in touch, and speak to one of our experienced and expert consultants.