Hazards of a Counter-Offer

February 2013

A counter-offer from your current employer can be very flattering and your emotions may cause you to temporarily lose sight of the original objectives of your job change.  There is a huge possibility that you may second guess your decision and feel the pull of the familiar. This is exactly what your present employer hopes will happen. Here are 10 important reasons for not accepting a counter-offer.

  1. When the "smoke clears" following a counter-offer, all the reasons why you wanted to leave are still there!  It's important to remember that you made the decision to leave because you felt that another opportunity would better fill your career needs.
  2. If you are worth more when leaving, why weren't you worth more when staying? Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? Is it an early raise? Companies have strict wage and salary guidelines which they are not going to change just for you. Figuring this out before making a decision will provide some clarity.
  3. Because they know you were almost out the door at one point, your company might immediately start looking for a replacement at a lower salary.
  4. When tough times come, the employer may begin the cutbacks with you.
  5. Your employer is now aware that you are unhappy. From now on, loyalty may always be in question.
  6. While it is a catch22, accepting a counter-offer may make you look bad by seeming unsure and indecisive.
  7. It may seem harsh, but chances are good that the reasons for a counter-offer have more to do with inconvenience and avoidance of change, than with you being indispensable to the company.
  8. Statistics show that if you accept a counter-offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high. By that time, this new opportunity will be only a distant memory.
  9. Accepting a counteroffer is most likely an emotional rather than an intellectual decision.
  10. In the final analysis, a counter-offer comes because of a resignation. It is important to think about – will you have to threaten to quit every time you want to advance within this company?