Why Accepting a Counter Offer is NEVER a Good Thing

So, you’ve been for the interview… you’ve been offered the new job…. You’ve got the offer letter… so now it comes to handing in your notice to the boss.

Now I will assume that you are actually looking to leave your current company, because if you are just going through all this to get your boss to notice you and to get a counter offer there is nothing I can do for you. Give all your possessions to charity, change your name, move to Nepal, start listening to jazz fusion music, and take up basket weaving… because no recruiter or prospective employer is going to want to touch you. You sir / madam, are now toxic, so toxic in fact that Green Peace will be following you around in those little boats and chaining themselves to you until you are ethically disposed of.

But hang on, if I hand in my notice my boss will realise that he doesn’t want to lose me and offer me more money to stay. This seems like a good way to get a pay raise? Doesn’t it? Of course it does. But then again, think of all the money you are saving by not having a spine – spine upkeep is pretty expensive nowadays… basically I’m saying you don’t have a spine. You want a pay raise or a promotion – then ask for it.

There are better ways to get a pay raise than bluffing a resignation – the most important way is to be the sort of person that deserves a pay raise. Ask yourself these questions: am I valuable member of the team? Am I fulfilling my job role? And most importantly, are you working above and beyond your current job role? You don’t get promotions or pay raises just for doing your job correctly – you already get paid for that. Are there any other skills you could learn to boost your profile? Are there any training courses that you could take to become more important to the company? Do you bring revenue into the company, and has this been increasing? Getting promoted is not easy, if it was we would all be VP’s with business cards ‘…printed on Bone with the lettering in Silian Grail… watermark optional.’

But I digress; let’s get back to what happens with counter offers. You hand in your notice and your boss comes back with a pay raise to keep you there. You are happy and you accept this. You go back to your desk with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. You text your wife / husband / dog / priest and let them know the good news…. But this isn’t over. These things have now been set into motion concerning your future with the company:-

  1. At the next round of company redundancies – you are on that list for the chop (you are now paid above what you should be for your skill set and are a higher cost to the company)
  2. You’ve handed in your notice once, you might do it again (recruitment agencies will now be called by your boss to ‘tentatively start interviewing candidates’ to replace you
  3. You will not get put on any more training courses to further your development – why would the company waste money on further training if they thinking about points 1 and 2 above
  4. You have lost the respect of your co workers and boss – to your co workers you probably said that you can’t wait to leave – they will now not believe a word you say. To your boss you are now a person who can be bought – and they will use this against you.

There is also a very high chance that within 6 months of you accepting a counter offer you will have left the company anyway, the problems you have with your job won’t be magically altered by a counter offer. If you have to give your notice in just to get your boss to notice what a great job you are doing then is this really the sort of person you want to be working for?

If you are looking for a new job and definitely not looking for a counter offer, please give us a call.


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