The Potential Risks of Accepting A Counter Offer

  • On December 9, 2022

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You’re about to accept a new job offer, but your current employer approaches you with a counter offer. As tempting as the salary increase and additional employee perks may be, staying with your current role following a counter offer can be more problematic. So, before accepting a counter offer, here are some things to consider before accepting a counter offer

Will It Address The Issues?
What caused you to look at potential jobs or respond to other inquiries in the first place? If your current work environment is unhealthy or the dynamic between you and your boss is negative, being offered an extra salary or additional perks won’t resolve the real reasons why you considered and followed through with leaving for a new opportunity.

Are You A New Flight Risk?
If you accept a counter offer from your current employer, they may seem happy on the outside, but you will also have the risk of being labeled as a flight risk. When a promotion opportunity arises, you may be one of the last people considered because your employer won’t be sure if and when you’ll be putting in your two weeks’ notice again. The trust that was built over the period of your employment before potentially leaving will be broken, and take time to repair. 

Pressured To Change Their Mind?
Did you ask for a raise months ago and not get it? Assuming you built a strong case, getting a salary boost now because your boss felt backed into a corner may leave you feeling flat. If your employer truly values you, they should compensate you fairly and reward excellence without being forced by circumstance.

Any Bridges Burned?
You risk creating a negative reaction with the other firm by reversing your acceptance of their job offer. And remember, word can travel fast in many industries. If others in the organization see you as someone who uses job offers to leverage a better deal in your current role, it could damage your professional reputation.

Strained Relationships With Colleagues?
If taking the counteroffer from your current employer means you’ll earn more than your peers, but an elevated title doesn’t come with it, will it feel like you haven’t advanced very far? After all, you’ll be doing the same work for more pay. If an elevated title is what you’re after, it may be better to move on, especially if you feel you’ve outgrown your role. Also, news of a raise always seems to get around somehow. Could your colleagues begin to view you differently and wonder why you deserved to get the pay bump if your role hasn’t really changed?

It’s nice to feel valued and wanted. For that reason alone, counteroffers will always be tempting. However, the risks are often higher than the rewards. A better plan is to leave your current employer on good terms. If they truly find they can’t live without you, then who knows? You may end up returning on your terms in the future.

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