banner image

Six points to consider when faced with a Counter Offer

Congratulations! You’ve finally been offered a fantastic job opportunity with a dynamic, forward-thinking and innovative new firm who you have been interested in working for since the very beginning of your career.

But wait! What about your existing employer?

You may have certain loyalties to managers or mentors who have been instrumental in your professional development to date. You may be in the middle of a project or assignment for which your company is depending on your input for successful delivery. Or indeed, you may be disillusioned or unsettled and can’t wait to get out!

Either way, the chances are that your employer will not want to let you go and could go to great lengths to persuade you to stay. Thus, you have encountered the ‘Counter Offer’ scenario.

It is certainly a tricky situation whatever the circumstances, so here are just a few points to consider should you receive a counter offer upon handing in your letter of resignation.

1) If your boss offers you more money, why now? Why has it taken another offer to encourage them to increase your basic and benefits? This begs the question, why were they not paying you what you are worth in the first instance? To be quite blunt, what kind of company waits until you threaten to resign before they agree to pay you what you’re worth? If however, you are already being paid ‘your worth’, should your existing employer be required to make cutbacks, the people with inflated salaries and a perceived lack of commitment will be the first to go.

2) Also, if they have offered you more money, when do they intend to give you a new contract? It can take time for everything to be approved internally through HR, and a pay rise may even be blocked by senior management, leaving you in the dark about where you stand.
3) Should you decide to stay, there is a very good chance that you will be ruing missed opportunities and will leave just a few months down the line because the original concerns you had, and reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place have not disappeared.

4) The very fact you are handing in your notice signifies that you are someone who is not fully committed to the company, whether you like it or not. This will naturally be the mentality of your boss and senior management from now on. When the time comes for internal promotions, who do you think they are likely to promote? Someone who has demonstrated commitment to the organisation, or someone who handed in their notice 6 months ago. Rather, it is very possible that they will start looking for your replacement, in case you decide to resign again.

5) There is never going to be a good time for a valued worker to leave the business. Your manager may even be looking to fill another position and your resignation would only heighten the problem. It is also a bad reflection on their managerial skills that they have not managed to keep hold of a talented employee. Remember, it is always going to cost more to find your replacement in terms of time and money. The cheapest and most hassle-free option will be to try and persuade you to stay.

6) Be careful to avoid attending interviews with the intention of using offers of employment to negotiate a pay rise. It will alert your existing employer to the fact you are exploring the market, and could potentially burn bridges with companies or key decision makers who you may wish to work for in the future, if they feel that you are messing them around.

Of course, there are many different scenarios which should each be considered at face value. If you are otherwise happy at your current company, you should find a solution for problems within yours and your manager’s control.

If the extent of travel is becoming an issue, seek to resolve this by asking for a day or two to work from home. If work is not engaging or stimulating you enough, ask to be transferred on to a new assignment that will push you. If you genuinely believe that you are due a promotion or pay rise, have an open and frank discussion with your manager about why you deserve this.

However, if over the preceding months you have proven to yourself that there is no way of resolving all of the inadequacies of your present situation, don’t let months of decision making be over-ruled in one meeting with a desperate manager who is financially and emotionally manipulating you to stay in order to buy some time.

Play out all possible scenarios in your head and formulate solid answers and responses to a convincingly delivered counter offer. This will give you confidence that you are making the right decision when handing your notice in to your line manager, helping you to avoid making any rash decisions.

Always be prepared to receive a Counter Offer!
01732 455300