You’ve done it: after a long journey in the job market, you’ve landed a position. You’ve negotiated a great salary, you’re poised to take on more responsibility, and your start date is just two weeks away. But out of the blue, your boss surprises you with a counteroffer. Suddenly, you’re conflicted and you aren’t sure what to do next.
Counteroffers are extremely flattering, but they require serious consideration, because they are not always all they are cracked up to be.
Two Types of Counteroffers
Counteroffers typically come in two forms. The first type of counteroffer is financial, which provides you with an increase in salary. Your boss will either ballpark a guess at your new salary, or sit you down and ask how much your new position pays and then match or exceed that offer.
The second type of offer is emotional. This one is designed to play upon your sense of loyalty. Your boss may not present you with a written offer, but rather a verbal offer of more responsibility, a raise down the line, or some other intangible benefit. It is likely that the verbal offer will come with a lot of talk about your value to the organization, or they may tell you that they really need you on board to launch or finalize a critical project.
Things to Consider Before Accepting a Counteroffer
Counteroffers will make you take pause. Staying in place is much easier than making a change, and if your employer is making big promises (or a big financial offer), it can seem like a no-brainer to stay where you are. Before you accept a counteroffer, however, always consider a few points:
- Why Give You a Raise Now? If you’ve been at your position for quite some time and you’ve never received a significant raise, why are the bosses so willing to cough up the money now? The truth of the matter is that it’s cheaper to raise your salary than to conduct a job search for a replacement. If they really wanted you to stay, you’d have received a raise long before submitting your letter of resignation.
- You are, in Fact, Replaceable. Every employee is replaceable. If your boss tries to paint a picture that you are indispensable to the company, why were you not recognized before with promotions, raises, leadership training or five-star performance reviews?
- Your Leaving Reflects Poorly on Your Boss. Turnover is an indication of a problem in a department, and your boss’s sudden interest in your career may be more of an attempt to cover himself to his bosses than to make you happy.
- Counteroffer or Stall Tactic? Data suggests that 80% of all employees who accept a counteroffer are gone after one year. Many managers use counteroffers as a way to buy time to replace employees.
- Things Will Never Be the Same. Resigning will place a strain on your relationship with your boss. He may begin to reflect on the time off you took in recent weeks, which you’ve now exposed as time spent looking for a new job. Your coworkers may not trust you anymore either, knowing that you have one foot out the door. Nothing will go back to the way it was before you turned in your notice.
It’s always important to remember that your career is about you, not your manager, not your company, not your projects, and not your teammates. If a counteroffer seems appealing, take a step back and remember the reasons why you started looking for a job in the first place. Will the counteroffer really change things?
If you are a professional in engineering, information technology, operations, sales, or marketing, and you are looking for new and exciting career opportunities, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment agency that works with innovative organizations in Northern Illinois and beyond. We can help you locate exciting job opportunities that align with your long-term personal career goals.