Do You Accept a Counter Offer?

Counter Offers: To Accept or Not Accept

If you’re like me, you always remember the times in your professional career where you’ve resigned from a job. There’s a lot of different reasons you may have found yourself in this position, but inevitably after you complete an amazing interview process and then receive the perfect offer from an awesome company you are then faced with the realization that it’s time to give notice. This thought usually leaves us feeling anxious with anticipation about how our current boss may react when we submit our two-week notice. Perhaps you feared your boss would be angry and disappointed or maybe even fire you on the spot. But then, BOOM! Your boss counter offers! Often when this happens, we are entirely unprepared and have no idea what to do. Don’t let this happen to you.

Counter offers are fairly common. Counter offers can include promotions, or offers to give you more money than your new offer, or maybe it’s both along with some extra vacation time thrown in. These things may all look so nice and shiny that you may forget why you were looking to leave your old job in the first place.

Even if you think a counter offer will never happen, it is best to prepare in advance, so you will know how to react in the moment.

Ask yourself the important questions:

  • Why did I look for another job in the first place?
  • What would they need to offer to keep me to stay?
  • Am I sure a counter offer will keep me happy in the long-term?
  • How long will their promises last? Will the promotion or the challenging projects last? Is this just lip service to keep me around? Will it disappear in a year and I will be back to where I started?

While accepting counter offers can sometimes work out, there are usually deeper reasons that got you looking in the first place. Most of the time, counter offers are a band aid on a flesh wound. And, in the long run it is not the right solution.

What can you do?

  •  Prepare for a counter offer before there is one on the table.
  • Don’t accept any offer right away, ask for time to think about it.
  • Discuss with family, friends or professional mentors if needed.

In the end do what is right for you. But, remember to think about the big picture and don’t be swept up in the promises that often accompany a counter offer.