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Whether you were actively seeking a change or the opportunity fell in your lap, you now have another job offer. You put in your letter of resignation and two weeks notice to your boss and to your surprise, they gave you a counteroffer! Should you accept a counteroffer from your current employer?
The short and simple answer is NO. Of course you should make the decision that’s best for you. But below I will list some reasons why you should take that new job and not accept the counteroffer from your current employer.
5 Reasons why you should NOT accept a counteroffer from your current employer
You do not owe your boss or the company anything
This is the worst of the counteroffers because they are not even really offering anything. What your boss is giving you though, is a massive guilt trip.
You could be leaving your boss or the company high and dry with your departure. Your boss could bring up the fact that he took a chance on you and gave you your first big break into the role or industry. Your loyalty will be questioned.
Do not let this guilt factor in your decision making for what is best for you.
Make no mistake the number one priority for the company is their bottom line and profits. If the company is experiencing hardships or your role is made redundant, they will hesitate for a total of 2.5 seconds before making the decision to lay you off.
The company is not looking out for your best interest. This responsibility is up to you. You look out for your best interest.
Get out of your comfort zone
One of the reasons why you may be tempted to accept a counteroffer from your current employer is because you are comfortable at your old job.
You already know how to do your job well and the responsibilities of your role. You know the processes and have built working relationships with your colleagues. You are comfortable.
But comfort can cause stagnation.
Being comfortable is not a reason to put up with your unhappiness or being underpaid. Some companies rely on your comfort to stay as a reason to underpay you or not develop you. Remember, you are responsible for your career. You look out for your best interest.
It takes a lot of inertia to find a new job and be immersed in your new role at a new company. Do not use comfort as a reason to stay.
Get out of your comfort zone to grow and develop.
Counteroffers are not permanent solutions
If you wanted to take a new job because of the work environment at your current place of employment, a counteroffer is not going to change this.
Whether you wanted to take a new job because of your current toxic work environment, level of stress and work life balance, or because you do not get along well with your boss, these reasons are still going to be there.
Counteroffers, including a raise or a promotion, is not going to change the reasons you were unhappy and wanted to leave in the first place.
If a raise or promotion is the sole reason for your unhappiness and your boss offered exactly that in a counteroffer, why did it take you leaving to get it? Why did this conversation never come up before? Perhaps it did come up and you were declined your raise and promotion, resulting in you looking for a new job.
Does this mean your boss now acknowledges your value and admits that you were underpaid all along? What happens in the future when you want another raise or promotion down the line? Do you have to go find another job offer to get it?
If it takes you resigning for your boss to give you a raise or promotion in a counteroffer, they may not be a good employer. Good employers proactively try to keep good employees.
You are now a flight risk
If the sole reason for your unhappiness is a salary or promotion issue, and your boss offered exactly what you wanted in a counteroffer, you should think hard about accepting this counteroffer.
If you accept your boss’ counteroffer for an increased salary or promotion and stay at your current company, your loyalty is questioned. Your trust and reputation with management is now compromised.
You have basically damaged your relationship with your boss and company.
Your boss now knows you were unhappy and wanted to leave. Even worse, they may feel manipulated or forced into giving you this raise or promotion if you were leaving them or the company in a tight spot. None of these things are good for your working relationship at the company or your career.
Accepting their counteroffer just means they now have time to prepare to replace you. Your job security drastically decreased.
Accepting a counteroffer will damage your reputation with the new company
We both know the job interview process is long, strenuous, and expensive. The new employer took considerable time and energy to hire a new candidate and they chose you.
They interviewed you with the impression that you were an available candidate and made you an offer. You are free to negotiate the offer with them all you want – in fact, it’s expected and encouraged.
But telling them that you declined their job offer and staying at your current company will burn some bridges. They could think you wasted a large amount of their time.
Now you don’t have to give them a reason as to why you’re declining their job offer, but it can be a small world depending on your field. The internet is also an easy place to find information, especially if you’re on linkedin.
If you’re contemplating on whether or not you should accept a counteroffer, I encourage you to think about these 5 reasons and NOT accept the counteroffer!