Why accepting a counteroffer is never acceptable

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Imagine the scenario…

You’ve found a new job, the interview process was a breeze, the company and role sounded perfect, as was the offer and now you’ve accepted. All that’s left to do is tell your manager and resign.

Simples! Well it was, until your boss went and asked you to reconsider by offering you an enhanced financial package to stay and that has you in a tizz.

It’s something I experienced personally and I’m sure if you ask about, you’ll find counteroffers quite common amongst your peers. Even more so now, as they are frequently linked to skill shortages; less talent often leads to more offers - no employer wants to lose a valuable member of staff who’ll there’ll struggle to replace.

Regardless of whether you think this is a reality for you or not, preparation is the key to managing your response – which incidentally should always be “thanks, but no thanks”.

Don’t get me wrong, the feeling you get knowing that you’re in demand is elating and you might think I’m crazy for telling you to decline an offer that rivals your new one, but it’s important to remember why you made the decision to leave in the first place.

Every person has their own reasons for wanting to leave, but from experience, this is rarely to do with money. Things like new opportunities, career aspirations, personal development or location i.e. issues that aren’t fixable by you or your employer are more common reasons to leave your current employment.

However, if money is your main motivator (big caveat here), I’m going to assume a pay increase was discussed and refused by your employer before you made the decision to jump?

If so please, please, please consider why, when you were previously refused an increase, is your boss now bending over backwards to accommodate you; what is motivating him to offer you more money?

I’ll take you back to my initial reasoning as to why counteroffers are increasingly available – a shortage of talent. It’s likely your boss is realising he’s going to struggle to replace you and quite frankly, if your employer failed to notice the key driver for your impending departure was due to an overwhelming feeling of being undervalued, then tough!

Have I convinced you yet? If not, take a step back and rationalise. You did the hard work; you identified the non-fixable elements of your current role and found a new one that offers career development opportunities more in line with your own goals and aspirations. If you stayed, despite the increased pay, would any of these elements change? Not a chance!

Take the bull by the horns; be safe in the knowledge that you’ve made the right decision and politely reject the counteroffer.

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