Just Say “No” – 4 Reasons to Resist the Counteroffer

Published:07/13/2015 | Posted by

In today’s employment market companies are finding it increasingly hard to fill open positions, thus it has become more critical than ever before to retain good people. Regrettably, some companies focus on retention only when the threat of losing a good employee becomes a reality.

As a result, employer counteroffers have become commonplace in 2015. Resigning employees are often pressured to stay through guilt and a pay increase, however accepting a counteroffer can come with some significant risk. A survey done by The Wall Street Journal showed that within 18 months most counteroffer acceptances didn’t end well for employees – 93% of those that accepted a counteroffer had left voluntarily, or through termination after the company found a replacement.

Considering this, here are four reasons why you should say “No” to a counteroffer:

    • 1) The reasons you were originally looking, or open to another job, will still exist when you take the counter. Ask yourself: Will a pay increase really make up for what was missing in the first place? More money won’t change a negative corporate culture, bad management practices or limited growth opportunities. What’s more, the money you do get may come out of your next bonus and you may be overlooked for future raises or promotions.


    • 2) Employers may ask you to stay, but will question your loyalty moving forward, or may only keep you around long enough to find your replacement. You will always be remembered for your attempted resignation, your “team player” standing will be lost and your boss will assume you’ll soon look again. Consequently, you forgo being included in discussions, decisions and opportunities as a result of how you are perceived.


    • 3) If you’re not truly interested in making a move and just looking to leverage a new offer to get a raise, think twice as this strategy could backfire. Your reputation with recruiters, other employers you accept a job with and your current employer will be permanently damaged.


  • 4) As your colleagues watch this unfold, their perception of you may change. They may see your counteroffer acceptance as coercion to get an unearned raise, which will change the team dynamic and make them resent you.

So, if you find yourself with a counteroffer, think about the consequences you could face if you accept. After a resignation/counteroffer exchange, there may be more to lose by staying where you are. Beyond the temporary financial gain, what pushed you to accept another job remains and you will never be looked at the same again. So follow your intuition, reject the counteroffer and move on with enthusiasm to a new job with a new company.

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