How to deal with a counter-offer

woman smiling looking at her phone

Employers would generally rather try and hold on to good people than start to hire all over again, so sought after professionals may expect a counter-offer. This could include more money, better benefits, a new job role, or even a transfer to a different role or division.

A counter-offer is flattering. It’s a sign that you are valued. At the same time, however, always remember that your response needs to be a careful business decision, not just an initial emotional reaction.

Research from the Robert Walters Complete Guide to Resigning Professionally says that many people who accept a counter-offer go on to leave quite soon after anyway.

Here are six questions to ask yourself when considering a counter-offer:

  1. Why did I want to leave in the first place? 

  2. Will the new offer address those frustrations or are they likely to crop up again?

  3. Would you have received a pay rise or promotion soon if you hadn’t decided to leave?

  4. Are you convinced that your current employer has a genuine development plan for your long-term future?

  5. If you do stay, how are your relationships with your current manager and colleagues likely to be affected by the fact that you wanted to leave?

  6. What will you miss out on by not taking the new offer?

Remind yourself again why you wanted to move on, and why this new opportunity appealed to you. If you are considering staying, make sure that your employer is prepared to commit to the counter-offer in writing, with all the details of the terms that have been offered you face-to-face.  

Are you making your next career move? Find out how to resign professionally.

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