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Should you accept that Counter-Offer?

Counter Offer

All your soul searching finally pays off:   Should you change jobs?  What would the new job need to offer you? How much are you prepared to compromise for your new job, we all know there is never 100% perfect match!  After months of deliberations, you’ve now received a job offer which is 85% what you had your heart set on and you march in to your bosses office to hand in your resignation.


You have a rehearsed conversation in your head, your resignation letter was painstakingly written, you brace yourself as you have no idea how your boss is going to react……………………………………….  And then you are presented with a counter offer!


This throws you into a whirl of self-doubt, should you accept the counter- offer or stick to your guns and make the alternative career move you worked so hard for?


As experienced consultants we have had our fair share of candidates receiving counter offers and we always try to prepare our candidates and clients for such a scenario. When we first meet with a candidate we discuss their “motivations to move”. This can range from salary, company culture, progression opportunities, travelling, team fit and will often be a combination of a few of those. We will always ask how do you think your current business will feel if you leave and how will it affect them? We discuss if they have made their employer aware they are looking or discussed any frustrations they have.


How do you decide between the Devil you know and the Devil you don’t?  Let’s face it when we are looking for a new role we are often in a negative place and something has triggered us to want to move but all too often when we are blind sighted by the counter offer with persuasive reassurances that all your “niggles” or perhaps there are “major frustrations”, being addressed, rectified  -  What do you do?!


We recommend you buy yourself time to think through the following:


1.       Think about your initial reasons for leaving – have these been addressed by the counter offer? Maybe you don’t feel like you have autonomy, maybe the role doesn’t challenge you, or you have a poor relationship with your colleagues, seriously consider whether your concerns are going to be met, how realistic is it for an organisation to make the relevant changes – for a long period of time?

2.       Are you considering the counter offer because you are feeling flattered?

3.       We would urge you to consider the true motives behind the counter offer. Does your employer value you as an individual or is it easier and cheaper to retain you rather than to recruit and train a new member of staff?

4.       What are the reasons you weren’t offered this improvement earlier on? Is your employer’s counter offer based on merit, or for fear of losing a member of staff?

5.       How sustainable are the changes?


If you decide to accept the counter offer, we strongly recommend you get everything that has been agreed, in writing, along with regular review dates to ensure promises are being consistently met.


If it is the fear of the unknown that is swaying you to accept the comfort of your existing role, we would strongly recommend you talk to a trusted friend, mentor or family member and ask them for their unbiased opinion.  “Feeling the fear and doing it anyway” is an excellent book by Susan Jeffers, she clearly highlights how we can often be our own worst enemies for preventing ourselves reaching our full potential.  If you are able to acknowledge your full reasons behind your reticence, it can help you make a true decision, for you, based on your long term career.


Good Luck

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