You made the difficult decision to move on to pastures new. You went through the process of meeting half a dozen competitors, negotiated a valuable salary increase and compared offers to choose the right option for you. Now all you have to do is sign, it shouldn’t be too difficult! You have ticked all the boxes; given your notice, thanked your boss for their support and offered to finish any projects. However, instead of a pat on the back and a thanks for your efforts over the year’s speech, he throws down a counter offer. Clearly this is flattering, your boss really doesn’t want to lose you. But maybe there is an ulterior motive at play here. It’s going to cost them more to replace you and it will require a lot of valuable time and effort, all of which can be saved by throwing a bit more money at you! In reality sometimes accepting the counter offer can be good, but before you make the decision bear in mind these 5 key points:
1. The grass is greener!
A phrase I hear all the time is “the grass isn’t greener”, but in reality you have taken the time to carefully select the company you are going to, you have met the new team and done your due diligence to ensure the new opportunity will fulfil your goals. If you have done this, the grass WILL be greener.
2. You had to quit to get a raise
Have you suddenly become more valuable after you resigned? Unfortunately not! This should make you wonder why when you have been doing a solid job, putting in the extra hours and attending to your duties that it is has not been enough to get the financial recognition you deserve.
3. Your card will be marked
By actually resigning, you are in effect, telling your boss that you don’t want to be there or feel you are not being treated fairly. Your boss will never forget that you were going to leave, and it is likely that your pay rise will come at the expense of future increases in pay and responsibility. You will never enjoy the same level of trust and can find yourself resented by your colleagues for “holding the business to ransom” to get a pay rise instead of bowing out gracefully.
4. You will inevitably leave anyway
There are endless statistics that cover this topic, but in my experience over the last 11 years, almost every individual who has accepted a counter offer has regretted the decision and left within 12 months. It is also worth noting that money is rarely the primary reason for moving jobs. Yes it’s important, but an extra few thousand pounds a year is not going to magically resolve the issues surrounding your original reason for looking to move.
One final point, and possibly a key one in this incestuous market, what about the job offer you have accepted? They have put their faith and the future of their business in your hands and believe you will play a big part in their future plans. They are going to feel cheated and used if you choose to stay with your current employer just because of a bit more money. This is certainly not the best career move, especially in a market where there is a strong chance your paths could cross again in the future.
Although each situation is unique, don’t let the easier option of staying where you are make you forget all the reasons you were looking to move in the first place. From my experience accepting a counter offer out of flattery or for slightly more money will only lead you to regret it, and then you will have to start the job hunt process all over again.