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Should you ever accept a counter offer?

So you’ve taken the decision to leave the company because you're not climbing up the ladder fast enough or you’re not being paid as much as your peers or you don’t get on with your boss. Whatever the reason, you have made a conscious decision to leave and started the process of looking for a new job.

You’ve found some interesting roles, submitted your CV to recruitment agents, gone through a series of interviews and then been offered a job at an agency that pays more money and you know will help you with your career development.

On handing in your resignation letter though, your boss says that they don’t want you to go and can give you more money, an immediate promotion and some extra days off. What do you do?

Here's why you should resist the force and stick with your decision to leave:

  • A good employer should pay you what you are really worth in the first place
  • If you must threaten to quit in order to get what you want, the company is probably not worth working for anyway
  • A small salary increase still amounts to a huge saving over how much it would cost the company to replace you
  • Well-managed companies do not make counter offers because their policies are fair, equitable, and based on market conditions
  • Once you have expressed your dissatisfaction with the company by threatening to resign, your status as a team player could be questioned, and you might always be considered a flight risk
  • A counter offer is quite often nothing more than a stalling tactic to give the company time to find your replacement
  • If you decide to stay, the reasons that made you want to leave in the first place will really still be there in the long term
  • After hearing of your unhappiness, your manager may feel threatened. This could make for a very uncomfortable work environment in the future
  • Accepting a counter offer may cause friction between you and your co-workers and threaten morale within your work environment
  • Perhaps more importantly, you’ll have broken your commitment to the prospective employer you worked so hard to impress. After negotiating your salary and going through the motions of joining a new team, this could burn all bridges with that prospective employer
  • Depending on the process and whether any recruiters were involved, you may also gain a reputation for time-wasting and behaving unprofessionally
  • If the counter offer is tempting you to stay, think long and hard about the implications for your reputation within the relatively small marketing industry - your decision could have an impact on your long term career
  • The reality is that at some point in every career there comes a time to take on a new challenge and leave a business

In short, our advice is to reduce the potential career damage and stress levels associated with this transition by having the confidence to trust your gut and stick with your decision.

Posted by Caroline Bailey

Wednesday 4th July 2018


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