Don’t Let A Counteroffer Hold You Back

By KIMMEL & ASSOCIATES on JULY 30, 2015

Thinking of Accepting a Counteroffer?

A job change is one of life’s most stressful events. Many times co-workers are valued friends, making the decision to leave even harder. If you made the decision to move on, it means that you carefully evaluated your status with your current company and found it in your best interest to look for other work.

There are several common reasons why people leave a job. One of the top reasons is for professional challenge. If you are bored with your job and don’t have an opportunity to excel, then you are in good company. This is one of the most common reasons employees move on.

Career advancement is another common reason. From time to time you need to evaluate your career trajectory and see if you are on the road towards achieving your goal. Or, perhaps you feel your current employer does not appreciate you or value your work. I’ve heard that a lot, too.

But what I don’t often hear is that a client is leaving solely to make more money. I know money is important. A person won’t stay with a company if he is grossly underpaid. However, I find that a person who changes jobs for money alone, is usually disappointed.

The same is true of a person who STAYS ON A JOB because he received a lucrative counteroffer from his former employer. Turns out, it’s NOT “all about the money.”

This may surprise you. But think about why you decided to change jobs in the first place. You probably expected that your next job would pay a little more; but I’m betting that was not your major motivator. I’m sure there were many other considerations. Don’t lose sight of that!

Accepting a counteroffer is like applying a Band-Aid. Believe me, it is only a temporary fix for a festering sore. If you are not completely happy with your current employer, you will still be unhappy even if you are making more money. You need to go with a company that will enhance your career. Think of where you will find more job satisfaction and overall happiness. It won’t likely be back with your current employer.

8 Reasons to NOT Take Your Current Employer’s Counteroffer

Don't look back, you're not going to accept that counteroffer.

  1. Vote of No Confidence.A resignation will fundamentally change your relationship with your employer. Word will get around that you had one foot out the door. Your company will question your loyalty. You signaled the company that you are not happy in your current job. Common sense tells them it’s only a matter of time until you start looking again.

  2. Jealous Eyes. People will resent your raise. They will say you only got more money because you threatened to quit. No accomplishment you make in the future will justify your salary increase to these gossipmongers. They will resent you and your friendships may not stand the strain.

  3. Loss of Job Security. Now that you have shown the company you are not completely loyal, the feeling may be mutual. If there’s a cutback in the future, your head is on the chopping block. And don’t expect a party when you leave.

  4. The Devil Wears Prada. Your company holds the power and won’t hesitate to wield it! Perhaps they made the counteroffer because you are irreplaceable. Maybe they made it to stall for time while they search for your replacement. In a few months you may feel a heel in your backside pushing you out the door. Research shows 80 percent of candidates who accept a counteroffer either leave or are let go within a year.

  5. Frozen Salary. Don’t think you’ll get a raise or even an earned bonus anytime soon. Future salary increases will likely be stalled. The next time you want a raise the company’s response will be to remind you of that big increase you got when you threatened to quit.

  6. It’s a Small World. Accepting a counteroffer from your current employer, after accepting another job elsewhere, will burn bridges. The new employer will not likely consider you for a future opening. And if you worked with an executive recruiting firm, your recruiter will be hesitant to contact you again.

  7. Everything Remains the Same. As I already hinted, you are not going to be any happier just because the company threw some money at you. The fundamental reason why you considered a job change in the first place, will still haunt you. And your dissatisfaction will be magnified by the knowledge that you had a chance to make a change and you didn’t follow through.

  8. A Steal from Left Field. You may have interviewed at a couple of different companies. You should already have a dialogue ready to inform other companies that you have accepted an offer with one of them. Don’t suddenly take an offer from a rival company, either. You’ll be slamming a lot of doors. Refer back to number six.

Hindsight is 20/20

As a recruiter, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing a candidate make a positive career move. I frequently follow up with new hires and love hearing how happy they and their families are on the new job. I look at the recruiting business as an opportunity to serve people and enrich their future. It’s not about the money for us. And it shouldn’t be for you, either. People say hindsight is 20/20. Don’t take a counteroffer. Experience tells me you will likely look back and regret it!

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Kimmel & Associates

Kimmel & Associates

Marketing & Communcations

Kimmel is an executive search firm located in Asheville, North Carolina. Our professional recruiters are committed to exceeding client expectations. They work with the same dedication, honesty, and attitude of service that has been the Kimmel standard for over 34 years.

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