I quit maybe

Why Accepting a Counter-Offer Can Be Career Suicide

Counter-offers are very common. Many people get caught up in the flattery and don’t realize that it’s detrimental to their careers to accept a counter-offer.

Picture this typical scenario:

Greg has been unsatisfied with his job and feels like there’s no opportunity for growth. After interviewing with several other companies, he has managed to land a new job with excellent career growth possibilities, a $15,000 salary increase and better benefits with company B. Greg happily accepts this excellent offer and informs his current boss that he is outta there!

Greg’s boss is caught off guard. His mind is racing and he’s already sweating just thinking about the amount of time that will be wasted finding and training Greg’s replacement. He’s panicked because this is the department busiest time and he has no time to interview a replacement. He hates Greg for doing this to him right now.

He instantly offers to match Greg’s other offer.

Greg is beside himself with excitement!! Not only has he received a fantastic new job offer, but his boss has offered to match it. Talk about feeling loved!

He accepts this counter-offer and informs company B that although he had accepted their offer, he won’t be taking the job after all.

Greg pats himself on the back for a job well done and expects to live happily ever after.

What he doesn’t know is that he has just bought himself a one-way ticket out of his current company. His boss is actually  buying time and likely thinking “maybe I can keep him a bit longer while I look for his replacement”. Things are nowhere close to happily ever after for Greg, he just doesn’t know it yet… all because of that counter-offer.

Reasons NEVER to accept a counter-offer:

  1. 80% of all employees who accept a counter-offer are no longer with that employer after 1 year.
  2. When you accept a counter-offer, your boss is already likely to be looking for your replacement and just needs to buy some time.
  3. Other than the increased salary, the same circumstances that caused you to be dissatisfied are still there.
  4. You’ve already displayed your disloyalty to your current company and your boss will always keep this in mind when it comes to future promotions, raises, interesting projects, etc. To top it all off, guess  who will no longer be considered a team player?
  5. Accepting another job offer and then changing your mind is flat out unethical and bad business practice, which spells out as BAD REPUTATION. Today more than ever, careers are heavily affected by personal branding and reputation. It’s actually a small world and you never know how accepting this counter-offer will affect your future job prospects.
  6. If the company hits a rough patch and layoffs are necessary, you will probably be one of the first to go. After all, you had already threatened to leave once before.

Questions to ask yourself before accepting a counter-offer:

  1. Why did I start looking for a new job in the first place?
  2. Why is my boss offering me this counter-offer?
  3. How will accepting this counter-offer affect my long-term career goals?
  4. Comparing the current and new job, which one offers real potential for growth?

Your first decision is often the right one, so follow through with it and don’t look back. Keep a positive relationship with your current company and leave on good terms without burning bridges. Politely tell them that while you appreciate their offer, you’ve made the decision to move forward.

Most of all, stay in control of your career and your decisions.

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