Making the right decisions while searching for a new job or advancing your career can be tricky. There are many difficult situations to navigate, including counter offers.
If you’ve not heard of counter offers before, picture this scenario. You want to leave your current job, perhaps because you feel underpaid, underappreciated, or simply want a new challenge. You start job hunting and manage to land a new role at a different company.
The next step is to hand in your notice, but your current employer surprises you by making a counteroffer. They may offer you more money, a promotion or other benefits to tempt you to stay – but should you accept?
Here are just a few of the reasons you may want to think twice before accepting a counter offer:
1. The underlying problems remain 👀
Unless it’s simply a matter of money, the reasons you wanted to leave the company in the first place will still be there if you go back on a higher salary. This means it’s likely you’ll be thinking about leaving again before too long. This is a common situation, as research has shown that a huge 80% of people who accept counter offers leave within six months.
2. The trust is gone 🙅🏻♂️
The relationship between you and your employer is bound to be affected during this kind of situation, in a number of ways. Firstly, your employer knows that you wanted to leave, so your loyalty to the company will always be in question. They – and you – will also know that you can be ‘bought’ with the promise of more money. This can create a feeling of dissatisfaction on both sides, which can negatively affect the working relationship in the long-term.
3. You’re ‘settling’ 😶
It’s natural to want a change and a new challenge from time to time, and to want to be properly rewarded for your skills and hard work. Your potential new employer obviously sees your worth, as they’re willing to take a risk on a new hire. This could be an opportunity worth seizing – it could be great for your development and your career. Whereas, staying in your comfort zone is unlikely to bring you the job satisfaction you’re looking for.
4. Are you sacrificing future bonuses and promotions? 💸
By increasing your salary in order to keep you, your employer could essentially be bringing forward a bonus or pay rise that you’d be due later down the line. This sounds great, but in practice it means there’s no upward trajectory for your future prospects. Many companies have strict pay scales, so you could end up getting less the next time a pay review is due.
5. Are you now seen as expendable? ❗
If your company has to make redundancies, the employee who showed a lack of loyalty by wanting to leave is more likely to be let go. It could even be the case that the counter offer was a stalling tactic, used by the company to keep you around long enough to find a replacement at a lower salary.