Think Twice Before Accepting a Counteroffer
In the job-search world, it’s easy to equate more with better, particularly if more means several companies wanting your unique talents. The current employer and a new employer recognize your skills, and both want you to work for them. From this perspective one might assume the employee has the upper-hand, something anyone who has ever felt slighted in the workplace would relish, but this situation is not as it seems.
A Counteroffer Moment
Two viable options offer the potential for very different outcomes. One thing that shouldn’t come as a surprise is a counteroffer from the current employer. A counteroffer is a quick way to bridge the gap and is a move that requires a quick decision on whether to accept or not. While such an offer might feel like the upper-hand, acceptance holds the potential to hurt an employee in the long-run. In this moment, it’s important to consider the entire package, not just the monetary offer on the table. Now is the time to question why as an employee you hold more value after announcing a potential departure to a new company. Instead this is more likely a company’s ploy to delay the need to search for a replacement and not a measure of an employee’s value.
As good as a counteroffer feels in the moment, the act of submitting a resignation has already broken the bond of trust between a company and an employee. Companies tend to believe if an employee is ready to change jobs once, they will always be on the lookout for something new. Whether that’s true or not, it becomes easy to believe and in some cases the company may actively look to replace the employee before they decide to leave.
From the perspective of the employee, a counteroffer only delays the inevitable. There was a reason for looking for a new job in the first place and additional money will only temporarily blunt those feelings. Like any change, once the newness of a higher paycheck wears off, the original reasons will return. In short, a counteroffer never resolves the reason(s) for looking for a new job.
Expecting the inducement of a counteroffer is important, so be ready to decide if it will sway the decision to leave or stay. Any ambiguity can become a benefit to the employer and a detriment to the employee. One way to bolster the decision is to prepare a resignation letter in advance. A letter formalizes a resignation and is a way to politely thank an employer for their time and interest in your career. If you’re inclined to leave on a high note, offer to help in the interim and to be available for questions for a set amount of time. Otherwise, move forward knowing you’ve made the right decision.