Six Reasons Why You Should Not Accept a Counteroffer

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So you have recently accepted an offer at a new company and the time has come for you to hand your notice to your manager. Easy, right?

You have walked in to your manager’s office and passed him your letter of resignation, offer to handover during any transition period, finish up any major projects you have been involved in and say thanks for the opportunity. However, rather than your manager just shaking your hand and saying good luck, he throws a counteroffer in your direction; more money, more holiday and better benefits.

Chances are, you feel very flattered but there is a high probability your manager has an ulterior motive. Their retention rate will be lower if people are leaving or they may just want time to find a replacement as it will better on their budget to give you a pay rise than it will be to recruit, hire and train a new employee.

Before you say yes, consider the following reasons as to why you should decline.

  1. You may be shunned – when you give notice, you are, in effect, dumping your boss. As in many types of relationships, the rebuffed party begins to bargain. No one, after all, wants to be the dumpee. But once your boss’ anxiety is eased and you’ve agreed to the counteroffer, new emotions will set in: resentment, suspicion, distrust. You will likely spend your remaining time at the company exiled from the inner circle for your show of disloyalty.
  2. You had to quit to get a raise – suddenly you became more valuable after you give notice? It should make you wonder why you weren’t valuable enough to deserve a raise before – when you were coming into the office every day and dutifully attending to your job duties.
  3. Job security will diminish – your boss fought to keep you from quitting, sure. But when it comes time to lay off some people, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be somewhere toward the top of the list. Remember, your boss wanted you to stay for his benefit, not yours. If he has the opportunity to get rid of you on his terms – now that you’ve revealed a willingness to be a turncoat – he’s likely going to take it.
  4. Things won’t change – the frustration, the stifling feelings, and the dissatisfaction that led you to seek new job opportunities will remain, and it’s unlikely that the bump in pay will make those things any more bearable. Whatever turned you off about your job prior to the new offer will continue to be irksome after you accept it.
  5. You’re going to leave anyway – 70 to 80 percent of people who accept counteroffers either leave or are let go within a year.
  6. You’ve already accepted an offer – and what about the new job offer you already accepted? By virtue of hiring you, that employer already has demonstrated a belief that you are valuable – and you haven’t even had your first day yet. Your current employer, on the other hand, has begrudgingly offered you more money to get you to stay to suit his purposes. Also, leading on prospective employer – attending interviews, negotiating, accepting an offer, allowing them to think the job has been filled is a bad career strategy in general.