Dealing with Counter Offers
Leaving your job can be a challenge. Leaving the friends and environment that you know and are comfortable with for the unknown can cause doubt, this is natural. The time after your resignation can become more challenging if your current employer asks you to stay and offers a counter offer. Counter offers have become very common in the current job market; you should be prepared to handle this with class. Review the reasons that you decided to pursue a new opportunity and commit to your decision when you are dealing with counter offers.
Be confident in your decision; do not show doubt.
Why were you leaving to begin with? Remember, money does not equal happiness; what were the other factors that attracted you to a new opportunity? People do not change quickly, and neither do companies, so do not expect a major change in your current environment.
It is okay to feel flattered that the organization finds you important to their success, but how are they assisting you in your success? How do you feel about working for a company that will only pay you what you are worth, promote you, or hear you if you threaten to leave?
Compare your current position and the new opportunity; if both were new to you, which offers the most potential? It is likely that the new opportunity provides more room for growth, or you would not have been looking to begin with.
Assess the Company’s Intentions
It is a well known fact that most employees who accept counter offers are let go or quit within one year. Why is your organization taking that risk? Are they looking for a short term solution to mitigate stress within your department while they look for your replacement?
High turnover rates reflect poorly on the organization, is this simply an attempt to avoid turnover, or a true investment in your future?
Will the money or promotion from the counter offer affect your chances at a raise, bonus, or promotion in the future?
If you have threatened to leave, what do they now think of your loyalty? How will this affect your long term growth with this organization, even if they want to keep you?
Do not give your company any reason to expect you will consider a counter offer. Expect to hear, “What can we do to make things better?” If possible, turn the focus to what they can do to make the transition smoother.
If you do consider a counter offer, get it in writing and request a 24+ month contract which will eliminate the possibility of being let go. Most companies are not willing to commit to this, but why would you stay if they do not?