You’ve found a new job and handed in your resignation letter.
But your employer is reluctant to see you go, so they give you a counteroffer. They offer better pay, more benefits, and a new desk if you say no to the new job.
So what do you need to consider when you get a counter offer?
What have you got to lose?
When deciding whether to accept a counteroffer from your current boss, make sure you keep the other job in mind too. What did they offer you? Better salary? Promotional opportunities? Less over-time? Whatever it was, it must have been appealing as it made you resign in the first place, so remember to keep them in mind during your decision. If you need to, write a pros and cons list to make it easier.
If you’re a hard-working and valuable member of the team, chances are the boss won’t let you go without a fight, especially if you’re moving to a rival company. But if you’ve been feeling under-appreciated, a counteroffer might come as a shock.
If you’ve been offered a pay rise equal to or above your new job offer, consider why it took the threat of leaving to bring it about in the first place. Why haven’t they offered this before you threatened to leave?
It sounds harsh, but consider if they’re only keeping you on until they find a replacement. You may find the counter offer comes to an abrupt end when they find someone who will work for your old salary.
Will they make the changes?
The thought of a better salary isn’t the only thing that can make you want to move jobs, sometimes a horrible working environment or unwelcoming colleagues can force you to go elsewhere.
If your current boss promises to remedy any problems which influenced your decision, ask yourself whether they actually will. Is your boss normally trustworthy and always keeping their promises, or are they all talk and no action? Ask them how you can be sure that your work problems will be dealt with effectively. If they promise better pay and to sort out any bad working relationships, get it in writing so you’ll always have something to reference.
The one that “nearly” got away
It’s not just your employer’s credibility that will come into question when it comes to a counter offer, if you choose to stay in your old job, yours will be too.
If you decide to stay you’ll have to prove your loyalty and commitment to the organization, especially if you only stayed for a higher pay packet or a company car.
And when it comes to promotions, don’t be surprised if you’re overlooked for a while…
The other job
It’s not just your current employer that you’ll have to think about when deciding to go with the counteroffer, but the one who offered you the new job too.
By staying with your current employer, you consequently have to turn down a job you’ve already accepted (unless you’re a complete workaholic and plan on doing two full-time jobs). This could end up working against you if you deal with your would-be employer in the future. Awkward.