How to deal with a counter offer

01 May 2019 by Rachel Whalley
counteroffer job offer

It’s exciting - you have received an offer for a new job. Congratulations! It’s all sorted - you’ve accepted, confirmed a start date for your new role and handed in your notice or resignation.

Curveball, your current boss has made you a counter offer. A salary increase, possible promotion and extra bonus. You didn’t expect this, and it’s made you realise that you’re a valuable asset and your current company really does not want you to leave.

Now, don’t get me wrong it is flattering knowing that you are a key employee and your work is appreciated. However, in most cases your resignation triggers an alarm about the cost of replacing you. Businesses always want the best return on investment and it is cheaper for them to pay you a little bit more and promote you into a better role, than bare the cost of replacing your role.

It can also buy them time, you are now viewed as a flight risk - even if you accept the counter offer you’ll probably find another job fairly soon, so they need to find a replacement for you. After all, a good boss, in a good company knows that there are plenty of other candidates sitting out there who would love the chance to work for their company. It’s just a matter of time until you become disposable.

You may think that accepting a counteroffer may be good for you, and in today’s competitive markets they are becoming increasingly common - but before you accept, consider our 10 reasons why you should actually decline your counter offer.

#1 Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same, and your relationship with your manager can be significantly damaged. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance, and potentially the trust of your boss.

#2 Accepting a counteroffer is a bribe – an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride. You will always know that you were bought.

#3 Statistics compiled by the National Employment Association confirm the fact that over 80% of people who accept a counteroffer are no longer with their company 6 months later.​

#4 Unless money was the reason for leaving your job, the same circumstances that made you consider a change in the first place will repeat themselves in the future - even if you accept a counteroffer.

#5 When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you. Your position will be much less secure going forward.

#6 When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and who wasn’t. Which list do you think you will be on?

#7 You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.​

#8 Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a lower salary.

#9 Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? Is it your next raise, early? If you were worth “X” yesterday, why are they suddenly willing to pay you “X + Y” today?

#10 What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?!

​So all in all - a counter offer is a short term solution for very little gain, and you could end up trying to find a new role in a more difficult situation. Have you recently left your role and received a counter offer? Share what you did & how you found that in the comments​


Forbes - What you should do if you get a counteroffer

​US News - Why you shouldn't take a counteroffer

Undercover Recruiter - Responding to a counter offer​

Forbes - Why you should never accept a counter offer when you resign