Congratulations! You have just accepted a job offer for a role and company that seems too good to be true. You build up your courage to walk into your boss’ office to hand in your resignation. You explain the opportunity is too good to pass up and announce your departure date.
You are totally unprepared for what happens next. Your boss gives you a counter offer. They want to keep you. They had no idea you were looking (Really? Hadn’t they noticed that your wardrobe had suddenly improved and you were taking longer lunches fairly frequently)? They will offer you more money, a newer computer, an extra week of vacation… if you’ll just reconsider.
Now you’re confused. You start to mull it over… Maybe your current work situation isn’t so bad. You wouldn’t have to prove yourself at the new company or have to learn how to navigate around their corporate culture. Plus, you’d earn more money for doing exactly what you’ve been doing all along.
But… STOP! 7 Reasons to Just Say “NO”!
This kind of emotional thinking could be very dangerous to your career.
Consider what’s really driving your employer’s response…
- Your decision was made long ago, when you first decided to look for a new job. Something motivated you to look. What was it? Whatever the reason was, that reason still exists. Staying with your current position will only prolong the inevitable.
- If your employer was sincere about retaining you, he would have taken steps to keep you long before you handed in your resignation. Likely you’ve been unhappy for quite some time. Why did you have to threaten to resign before someone noticed?
- Fear is the number one reason an employer makes a counter offer, the fear of having to re-hire and re-train your replacement. It will take effort and a minimum of six to eight weeks to find your replacement and there are no guarantees that your replacement will work out. You’re a proven commodity, your replacement is not.
- Replacing you is risky business. Your boss will do or say whatever it takes to minimise the risk, until it suits them to do otherwise.
- Accepting a counter offer can be hazardous to your career and your character. Although, it might seem unfair, some might believe you can be bought, you are indecisive and could walk out at the most inopportune times.
- Accepting a counter offer while reasonable enough to you, can send a ripple through your old team. The relationships that you now enjoy with your co-workers may never be the same. The news of your interviews and decision to stay will eventually leak out. Peers will wonder if they can count on you and may resent that you have one more week of paid vacation, or a new computer or possibly got the part of the budget that was supposed to be their raise.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, in more than 90 percent of the cases where people accept counter offers, they end up fired, laid-off or at least looking for a new job within six to twelve months.
Making a clean professional exit
The best way to avoid a counter offer is to state that after much deliberation, your decision is final. That’s it.
Incorporate your decision into your letter of resignation as well as verbalising it to your manager. No need to be unpleasant. Deliver the news and reiterate that you will do what ever it takes to make the transition easy for them. Putting the focus on them and away from you will allow them to process your resignation and move forward more easily.
If you need advice on how to approach your manager about your rsignation, get in touch with your deignated recruiter.