Cordant Career Tools

Category: Working Advice


It's not always about the money: what to do if you’re counter offered?

Here’s the situation: Your next new dream job is just around the corner. You’ve been for the interview, been offered the job and now a new and exciting opportunity lies ahead of you - only for your current employer to then turn around and offer you a bit more money to try and get you to stay.

Now what? Well, we’ll tell you what…

If you find yourself in this situation it’s important to first remember the reasons why you wanted to leave your job in the first place. Are these factors that can be fixed? Have yourself and your employer already tried but to no avail?

It's important to recall the factors that made you want to move on initially and to not let your ego, or the feeling of being flattered you’ve been offered more money, cloud your judgement.

Ask yourself this: If you weren't valuable enough for a pay rise before, why are you suddenly now, just as you’ve decided to leave?

In most cases, this is because your manager probably doesn't want to have to deal with the disruption your departure could cause, and having to find your replacement. Not because you are now suddenly of value to them.

If you were intending to move to a competitor, there may also be an aspect of ‘fear factor’ and your boss is nervous you may take business with you.

It’s important to weigh up what's important to you when counter offered and really consider your position. If you were unhappy with your salary, you would have asked for a pay rise. If you found your work boring, you would have asked for more of a challenge. If your quality of life is affected by a long commute, you would have negotiated flexi-time.

If you’ve identified all reasons you wanted to leave, attempted to fix the issues within your control, and aired the ones out of your control, then in the grand scheme of things these issues were not fixable and subsequently became your deal breakers. Having then taken the initiative to find yourself a new job that better suits your current needs and career aspirations you have now been offered a new and exciting opportunity, so seize it!

If you do find yourself being persuaded by your bosses offer, just make sure you review each of your reasons for wanting to move on again and take an open and honest look at the issues.

Do you think these problems will magically go away if you accept the counter offer? Nope. Won’t you just find yourself in the same position six months down the line with no chance of progression? Yep.

So with that being said, it’s time to sit down with your boss and politely say: “Thank you for the offer, but I respectfully decline”.

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