The counter-offer: Why you shouldn’t accept it

Let’s imagine the following scenario: You’re looking for a new professional challenge and decide to apply for a job at another company. Good news, you got the job ! You decide give your resignation to your current employer, who, against all odds, decides to make you a counter-offer in the hope to keep you in the company. Let’s have a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t accept it.

Indeed, receiving a counter-offer can be perceived as a recognition of your professional skills and a signal that your employer wants to keep you on his/her team at all costs. However, let’s take a step back from the situation and analyse your employer’s potential motivations behind this counter-offer:

  • Your employer lacks the time to train a new employee
  • Your replacement could be costly
  • Your employer only wants to keep you in the company until they find a replacement for you to train. Once this newcomer is trained, you will probably get fired.
  • He/she cannot find short-term solutions to take over your various ongoing tasks and projects

So, what should you do? Stay or leave?

Before making a decision, here is our advice to you:

  • As you were about to leave for another opportunity, your loyalty will constantly be questioned. Your employer will wonder if they can really trust you and if there is a risk that you will continue to apply elsewhere.
  • Your relationship with your colleagues and their trust might be impacted
  • Ask yourself why your employer is offering you all of these advantages now? Why didn’t he/she do it sooner?
  • The reasons (other than financial) for which you wanted to leave initially will remain present
  • The offer proposed by the other company might not be presented again. The next opportunity is often less interesting than the first one.

Nowadays, counter-offers are a common phenomenon, and even if few statistics can be found on the subject, there is an overall trend of people accepting a counter-offer and still ending up leaving their employer within 18 months, some as early as within 6 months.

If this opportunity presents itself to you, it is important that you take a step back and think about the content of this counter-offer and your reasons for leaving. Moreover, take the timing into account: would your employer have offered you all these new benefits if you had not received a job offer elsewhere?

Change is often a way to improve your professional career and a great opportunity doesn’t always come around twice.

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