by Xenia Kusainov
As attractive as a counter-offer may seem, you should seriously consider if it’s wise to accept it. If you have already decided to move on from your current job, you shouldn’t let anyone change your mind.
As soon as you hand in your notice, a lot of bosses will try and convince you to stay – the standard counter-offers include higher salary, more training and development, more new technologies, etc.
So your mind starts wandering: “What if they are right?” “Should I give my old job a second chance?” “Who knows, what the new job might be like – it could be even worse than the current one…”
Please stop this thought process right now! Counter-offers have a lot of traps that you might not detect at first. In most cases, people regret accepting counter-offers.
Why does your employer only react to your wishes now?
Counter-offers are quite a common thing – and here’s why:
- Your boss thinks: “Another company is interested in our employee – maybe we need to change something…” – no one likes to change so some people will try and avoid it for as long as they can.
- You would leave a gap, which would be very time consuming and expensive to refill.
- Depending on your specialisation and due to numerous amounts of skills gaps, it can be extremely hard to find the right candidate to replace your position.
Let’s imagine you accept the counter-offer – what happens next?
Your boss is happy you stayed, and he doesn’t have to replace you, so he pays more attention to you and your needs for a while. You might get that pay rise, better working hours and that long-desired bonus. Then your boss eventually realises – you wanted to leave. So, he will keep a close eye on you and what you do: a person that decided to leave once might do it again. Unfortunately, that makes you a very unsafe candidate for any upcoming promotions – because if they invest in you today how do they know you won’t take your expertise to a competitor tomorrow. Chances are, your boss only wants to keep you until he has found the right replacement. Once you realise what’s happening – the job offer you secured back when you decided to leave will be long gone.
Why is your employer only appreciating your value now?
Receiving a pay rise is a nice perk – but was the pay rise really the reason you wanted to leave in the first place? Money is important, but usually there are more reasons for an employee to leave: no career progression, no work-life-balance, not enough appreciation, bad atmosphere within the team, feeling bored or overwhelmed with the tasks. If you are now still considering accepting the counter-offer from your boss, then please make sure you mention the other issues you have within the company – more money alone won’t make you happy. In a lot of cases, and we are speaking from experience, accepting a counter-offer has made candidates unhappier rather than happier.