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IT & Engineering Staffing Insights

Three Reasons Never to Accept a Counter-Offer

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Picture this: You just landed a great new job, one that is a vertical move in your career with a pay increase. How much better could it get? You accept the offer, and now you have to put in your notice at your current job. You’ve written your resignation letter and you’ve practiced what you are going to say. It’s nerve-wracking, but you gather your thoughts, go into your supervisor’s office, and resign.  Surprisingly, your boss makes a counter-offer, offering you a higher salary to stay at your current job. This may make you feel great and wanted, but I’m about to give you three reasons to say “No, thank you.” 

1. There’s a reason you were looking for a new job.

Think about how you got here, well-thought-out reasons that became deal-breakers for you. Maybe you were feeling undervalued. Maybe you are underpaid. Maybe your commute was too long. Maybe you were unhappy with the work environment. Or, maybe you were just looking for a step up in your career. 

If you accept a counter offer, how will any of those things change? Yes, you will be making more money, but you will still be doing the same job at the same place. You won’t be valued any more than you were. Your commute won’t change, and you won’t be making any vertical moves in your career. An increase in pay won't fix the issues that made you look for another job in the first place. 

2. Broken trust = less job security.

Your boss now knows you wanted to leave. This absolutely will affect your relationship and how much he or she trusts you. This could affect the amount or type of work you are given, and any potential promotions in the future. You may also end up getting overloaded with extra, unwanted work. Do you think managers will give the exciting and important work to someone they don’t trust? 

And with that broken trust comes less job security.  Because your boss now knows you wanted to leave, you may have just moved to the top of the expendable list. If any issues arise with the work you are involved in, you may be the first to go. 

You should also consider that your company could be looking for your replacement. You’ve expressed interested in leaving, so they could be looking for someone that they can count on for the long term.

3. Statistics.

If my first two reasons weren’t convincing enough, just take a look at the statistics. According to the National Employment Association, 80 percent of people who accept a counter-offer end up leaving within six months. They either leave voluntarily because nothing has changed, or they get let go. 

Changing jobs can be a scary and exciting time. A counter-offer is exciting and makes you feel wanted. Who doesn’t want to feel wanted? Enjoy that feeling, but know your value and focus on your long-term goals.  

Finally, it’s best not to approach job changes without sound advice. Remember that your recruiter is always there to talk through counter-offers and answer any questions you have. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out. Your recruiter will help you to focus on the facts and make the best decision for your career.