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The Job Offer, the Resignation and the Counter Offer

Six Reasons to Reject the Counter Offer

You’re in a meeting with your boss, a meeting you’d carefully planned out (or so you thought), with the aim of handing in your resignation.  You’ve done the hard bit. You’ve put your CV together, applied for jobs, spoken to recruiters, gone through the lengthy interview process, agreed on terms of business and signed the contract. You now get to do what you’ve dreamt of doing; hand your notice in.  Then comes the bombshell ... the counter offer!

Why has this happened? Why has it taken this extreme measure of handing your notice in for your employer to realise your worth all of a sudden? The company that has offered you the new post has certainly recognised it so why can’t the business that you’ve served so well see it too?

There are many posts out there dealing with the reasons why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer, but a common thread among all of these articles is that between 70% – 80% of employees that accept the counter offer either leave their jobs or are terminated within 12 months. Here are a few reasons as to why this is happening, that you should take in to consideration before you make your decision.

1)      It will cost more to replace you than it would to keep you – It’s solving a problem, albeit on a short term basis.  Your employer will be thinking of all the costs that are involved in finding your replacement, from the advert they need to place, to the cost of their own time spent throughout the whole process.

2)      Keeping you until they find someone else – Your employer more than likely has the ulterior motive of retaining you under false promises until they find someone else as it’s much easier for them to recruit this way than it would be without you.

3)      Your loyalty will start to be questioned – How long do you think it will be before your employer becomes suspicious of you leaving again?  Every day’s holiday, hospital or dental appointment you book will come under close scrutiny. Also, who do you think will be the first on the list for redundancies when it comes to cutbacks? 

4)      Career setback – As part of the question over your loyalty, who do you think will be next in line for the promotion that’s coming up?  The person who tried to leave a couple of months ago or the person that shows unconditional loyalty? My guess is the latter.

5)      Will the counter offer really change things? – Once the novelty of the extra cash has worn off or the promotion that you were promised hasn’t materialised, it’s more than likely your original feelings will still be there but have just been masked. This then puts you right back to square one.

6)      Your reputation – Everyone is really well connected these days and your reputation within your network is one of your best assets. With this in mind, don’t lead your prospective employer into thinking you’ve accepted the job when you haven’t.  It’s bad practice.  They may have stopped advertising the role or notified all back up candidates that they have filled the post. Bad conduct like this leaves a very sour taste and it takes people a long time to forget such negative experiences and we all know how powerful word of mouth is.

Of course, some counter offers are worth considering, especially if your employer is offering you more flexibility in hours in response to an issue with commuting distance or family commitments. However, all these complications could be avoided if you pre-empt matters firstly. Any issue you have should always be discussed with your employer as soon as it becomes apparent. Any business that is worth working for should have an environment or culture that promotes an open door policy.  Similarly, if your employer truly values you, making changes or giving you the rise in salary that you deserve in order to retain you should be a forgone conclusion.

So, if you find yourself in a position where you are looking for a new role within the marketing, digital or creative space and would like some advice on how to go about things, why not speak to one of our experienced consultants who will be more than happy to help. 0161 914 8499


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