“The ConterOffer”

October 29, 2012

<<Congratulations, you managed to secure a great new job opportunity!! Upon resigning, you may be made a counteroffer.>>

A counteroffer is an offer made to an employee by his/her current employer of, for example, a salary increase or more job responsibilities or a possible promotion to a “dream” job or another department, in order to try to prevent the employee (you) from moving to another company or organization.

Career changes are tough, leaving you with anxieties about leaving the comfort of your current job and having to prove yourself again in an unknown environment. One may even compare a “resignation” to a “break up of a marriage” or a strong long term relationship to say the least!

Clear thinking can be difficult, and counteroffers can create confusion and “buyer’s remorse”…

It is important to understand what’s being cast upon you:

Counteroffers are typically made as some form of flattery:

• “You’re too valuable to this firm. We need you.” “The team needs you”

• “You can’t desert the team/your friends and leave them hanging.”

• “We were just about to give you a promotion/raise, and it was confidential until now!”

• “What did they offer you? Why are you leaving? What do you need in order to stay?”

• “Why would you want to work for that company?”

• “The President/CEO wants to meet with you before you make your final decision.”

He or she may be sincere in their quest to make things right, but your manager may not have the authority to follow through. Therefore, don’t take promises at face value; get your counter offer in writing.

Counteroffers usually take the form of “more” of something…

  • Money
  • A promotion/more responsibility
  • A modified reporting structure
  • Promises or future considerations
  • Disparaging remarks about the new company or job
  • Guilt trips – (even hugs and kisses)

While counter-offers may be tempting and even flattering, be aware of following:

  • Will your loyalty be in question from now on? Will you ever be considered a team player again?
  • If there are future staff cutbacks, will you be the first to go because of concerns about your loyalty?
  • If you accept the counter-offer for more money, are you just giving your employer the time they need to locate and select and train your replacement?
  • Will your career progress remain blocked if you accept the counteroffer?
  • Will your responsibilities really be expanded?
  • Will you have to report to a person you don’t respect?
  • Are you maybe just receiving next year’s raise or bonus early?
  • Is the counter-offer a ploy to avoid a short-term inconvenience by your employer?
  • What are your realistic chances for promotions now that you have considered leaving?
  • Where did the additional money or responsibility you’d get come from? Was it your next raise or promotion – just given early?
  • Will you be limited in the future? Will you have to threaten to quit in order to get your next raise?
  • Will your employer feel like they’ve been blackmailed?
  • Will your team view you as a traitor?

Your colleagues may become resentful that you were given a raise or company perks because, as they see it, you blackmailed the company into making a counter offer.

Counter Offer Statistics:

According to national surveys of employees who accept counteroffers, 50-80% voluntarily leave their employer within six months of accepting the counter-offer – because of “unkept promises”.

The majority of the balance of employees who accept counter-offers involuntarily leave their current employers within twelve months of accepting the counter-offer (terminated, fired, laid- off, etc.).

Accepting a counteroffer can have many negative consequences.

As attractive as they may appear, they can greatly decrease your chances of achieving your career potential.

Take into account the core reasons why you decided to begin searching for another position.

  • Was it because you wanted a prime parking spot?
  • Or was it because your efforts weren’t valued?
  • Was it because you wanted extended lunches?
  • Or was it because you want to get home at a reasonable hour?

When all is said and done, are the perks that you are being offered sufficient to overcome your initial objections that motivated your search for another job to begin with?

Prepare for all the possible scenarios that may arise in your “resignation meeting”, whether you decide to stay or make a clean break is up to you.

 Just be sure that your decision is an educated one.

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