So you’ve finally decided to jump ship at work after getting an attractive job offer, but your employer springs an offer on you to sweeten the deal and keep you from leaving. Welcome to the world of counteroffers.
Here’s what to keep in mind when the company tries to win your heart upon your exit.
Take a deep breath before you respond to your manager
Metaphorically, of course.
Before making any rash decisions — like freaking out, or dramatically shoving the offer back in your supervisor’s face — get ready to respond rationally.
Look at both options — think about what you want, and what could happen if you stay
Similar to when you’re deciding between two job offers at places you’ve never worked, you have a big decision to make.
She includes many points on the negative aspects of accepting one, thinking about what you truly want, and illustrates how you could be treated if you say “yes” to a counteroffer.
“If you do decide to stay, don’t be naive. You’re going to have to remain constantly alert, and you’ll have to prove your loyalty and value that much more to be considered for future opportunities,” Huhman writes. “It will be an uphill battle, but getting back in your boss’s and coworkers’ good graces is possible; it’ll just take patience and time.”
Remember that the urgency could wear off quickly
Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog, writes in U.S. News &World Report about why you shouldn’t accept a counteroffer, including why “using a potential employer’s job offer to get your current company to counter and pay you more money” is a bad idea.
One of her points is that employers may rush to give an employee one, which can have consequences once the dust settles.
“Employers often make counteroffers in a moment of panic. (‘We can’t have Joe leave right now! We have that big conference next month.’) But after the initial relief passes, you may find your relationship with your employer — and your standing with the company — has fundamentally changed. You’re now the one who was looking to leave. You’re no longer part of the inner circle, and you might be at the top of the list if your company needs to make cutbacks in the future,” Green writes.
Green later writes that accepting a counteroffer could be the right move in some cases, but that “it’s a bad idea frequently enough that you should be very, very cautious before doing so.”
Think: Are you acting too fast?
A Robert Half blog post explores reasons why resigning IT professionals either should or shouldn’t take a counteroffer (although the author says they think these employees shouldn’t accept them “in general”).
Here’s one of the circumstances in the post illustrating when accepting one could be a good idea.
“It’s a short-term situation that’s not ideal. It’s easy to get caught up in a period on the job where things feel stale or stressful. Try to evaluate your employer and career over the long term, and don’t overreact based on what may be temporary circumstances. You could regret making a career-defining decision based on a challenging but short-term period of time at your firm,” the post says.