From an employer’s point of view, a counteroffer is a worthwhile investment to keep a valuable employee from resigning. From the employee’s point of view, a counteroffer is a reason to stay. Accepting a counteroffer, however, is not always in an employee’s best interest. Learning when to accept or deny a counteroffer is a vital skill that every job seeker looking to make a career change needs to acquire.
Potential Pitfalls of Accepting a Counteroffer
If your employer has issued a counteroffer, it means you’ve already accepted a position with another company and given your letter of resignation. After going through all the work to prepare for an interview, impress a new employer, and come up with an agreement that works for both of you, are you really prepared to throw it all away?
Accepting a counteroffer can feel like you’re coming out on top – keeping a job you already know and getting more to do it – but in the end, it may not be what’s best for you. Often, the job isn’t fulfilling, no longer interests you, or your boss doesn’t appreciate you. While a counteroffer may feel like your boss is finally giving you what you deserve, it’s just a way to protect the employer’s best interests, not yours.
If more money was your end goal, asking for a raise is a much better tactic than getting a counteroffer. Accepting a counteroffer means you run the risk of working for an employer who no longer trusts you. You may find that your job situation gets worse, not better, after accepting a counteroffer. You’ll likely be last on the list for promotions and top projects, as your employer sees you as a flight risk. Odds are you’ll be searching for a new job again within months of accepting a counteroffer, as the reasons you went on a job hunt, to begin with still hold true.
To Accept or Not to Accept?
The bottom line is that a counteroffer doesn’t mean you’ll be happier with your current job. It often just delays the inevitable. What’s more, you may have lost your one and only chance to impress a job recruiter. You’ve wasted the recruiter’s valuable time and resources only to remain at your current job. It can be tempting to accept a counteroffer out of guilt, flattery, or the desire to make more money. However, accepting for the wrong reasons will only end badly for you. Only accept a counteroffer if you’re sure it’s in the best interests of your long-term career goals.
When considering a counteroffer, remind yourself why you wanted to leave. There’s probably something missing in your current position that a counteroffer will not fill. Look at your situation from all angles and make a decision that will ultimately help your professional future.
Counteroffers are a tricky business, but it’s something you can master with the right recruiter informing your choice. Contact JSK Recruiting for more advice about counteroffers.