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6 Reasons you Should Reconsider Accepting that Counter Offer..

Posted on May 9, 2019

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You’ve decided to leave your job; gone through the searching, applying and interviewing process, have accepted a role with another company and now have to resign from your own. Resigning in itself is a difficult process but it is very often made harder by being given a counter offer.

 It’s always very flattering when your boss tries to make you stay by offering more money, better projects, conditions etc. But do you take it, or do you move on as planned?

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A General Truth: You will be Counter Offered

Sounds great right! But why are more than 80% of all people who take a counter offer back on the job market within 3 to 6 months?

A counter offer is an INDUCED call to action by an employer, not VOLUNTARY.

You have them backed in a corner with no other choice to offer you what you want or you walk. They will promise the world to get you to stay. They will tell you “You’re a valuable member of the team”, “We’ve invested so much into you”, “You’ll be letting down the team”, “Your future is so strong here”, “Here’s more money”. At this point, you start feeling guilty about your decision to leave because now they are giving you more money, going down memory lane and telling you how good you are (the emotional minefield).

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If you’re so valuable, why did you have to resign for them to recognise this?

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Suppose the counter offer is taken, project yourself 6 months into the future and ask yourself if any of your original reasons for leaving can or will actually be addressed or changed? Chances are they will be unchanged. Money will not fix core issues within a company or personnel, nor will it satisfy career ambitions or suddenly provide access to new clients and projects. You’re now one of the 80% who take a counter offer and will be back on the job market within 3 to 6 months.

Helpful Tip: Limiting the information you give your employer about your new opportunity and the reasons why you are not happy presently will prevent any bridges being burnt and limit the avenues they can exploit with a counter offer.

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1. They’re Looking After Themselves; Not You

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What employers don’t tell you is how much it actually costs to replace you. Even by offering you a $20K pay-rise, they are usually saving themselves over $50K in having to replace you. This includes advertising, agency fees, loss of productivity and temporary staffing solutions. Unless they are offering you a $50-$70K pay rise, you’re actually being short-changed.

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2. Value Recognition

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It was only after making the threat to leave that anything was done to improve your working life. It defies logic that you should have to threaten to go elsewhere before your value is recognised.

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3. A Financial Band-Aid

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Very rarely is a decision to leave a job purely about the more material factors. Usually, when asked about why people want to leave, issues like poor culture, personnel disagreements, not enough development and general frustration are the reasons for leaving.

None of these issues can solved with more money or a change in title. Even if they can remove you from people you don’t like, the culture cannot be changed for just one person. You’ll still be frustrated.

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4. The Honeymoon is Over

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Whilst it sounds like a bad dating show, when you quit a job, you’re figuratively breaking up with your boss and company after cheating on them behind their backs through interviewing elsewhere. That unspoken trust that existed previously is now gone.

As a result, even if you accept the counter offer, that trust can never truly be what it was before. The relationship suffers and your work environment will too. This is one of the main reasons people who accept a counter offer are usually back looking for a job within 6 months. The ease and trust that previously existed is gone.

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5. Job Security? Not Anymore

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You may have received a whole slew of new additions to your package, but guess whose name is at the top of the list to be let go if the company has financial problems? Yours. We’ve even seen examples where counter offers have been accepted and in a rather Machiavellian way, the company made the counter offer to give them time to find a replacement. The trust is gone, and so too is your job security.

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6. Damaged Credibility

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You had already made the decision to accept a role with a different company. When you accept a counter offer you’re being indecisive with not just one company, but two. The offer you accepted will not remain open and in most cases they won’t interview you again in the future. That bridge will have been burnt as they remember you as the person who mucked them around last time.

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