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Counter offers – what you need to be aware of

Sep 3, 2015 | Blog


Wouldn’t it be great if the move from one job to another was smooth sailing? The reality is that there can be some tricky obstacles to manoeuvre around, an one of the trickiest can often be that of the counter offer.

Initially, it might seem to be pretty straight-forward. There was a reason you went for that new role so why on earth would you entertain the idea of not taking it? You might think you simply would not even consider turning down the new role, but many still do, the moment a counter offer is placed on the table. Here is a brief rundown of how counter offers work and how to look at them in the right way.

Why do some counter offers work?

Resigning can be overwhelming, especially if you have been at the company for some time. It’s a decision that is all yours. It doesn’t need to be discussed, signed off, accepted or rejected. Once you hand in your notice – that’s it. It’s a time when a lot of doubt can start manifesting. What if it’s a huge mistake? What if the new job just doesn’t work out? Is this a hasty move? It’s doubts like these that can make or break the success of a counter offer.

What makes a counter offer successful?

Flattery. It can be hard to walk away when you’re being told how valuable you are, how unique your skill set is, how liked you are and how important a part of the company you are.

Money. It can be very expensive to replace staff so it’s much more worth your manager’s while to try to tempt you to stay with some extra financial incentives.

Promises. They may offer you everything you’ve been asking for since you started there – development, more money, bigger bonuses, promotions, a bigger team and a better job title.

Guilt. Your manager might even try to make you feel bad for even thinking of leaving the company. You may be reminded of the pressure the company is under, or asked what they’ve done to make you want to leave.

Reasons such as the above can make it easy to succumb to doubt and can play a significant part in your decision to accept or reject a counter offer.

What to keep in mind about counter offers

Think ahead

If you stayed, how much of what your manager is saying is actually likely to happen? You know the company well enough to know what is likely to happen and what is just ‘talk’, and if those things did happen, would they be enough to make you happy? If you stayed, would you be constantly thinking ‘what if’? Is your current unhappiness likely to return in the next few years?

Expect fear of change

You need to accept that change will always come with some level of fear and apprehension, but it’s important to remember that it is perfectly normal and you shouldn’t let it influence your decision to move on. Always remember why you wanted to leave in the first place.

Remember your manager’s agenda

Knowing that replacing you will cost time and money, it is important to keep in mind that your manager will likely have been equipped with a variety of ammunition to try to get you to stay. So, while you may feel very special when a counter offer is laid out, be aware, it will be a decision made partially under orders from higher powers.

Remember why you wanted to leave in the first place

This is crucial. In the post-notice/counter offer period, it can be easy to forget the reasons you wanted to leave your current company. It’s easy to let doubt and fear creep in, but it’s important not to see your soon-to-be ex-employer through rose-tinted glasses.

So, be prepared for that imminent counter offer when you hand in your notice. Remember the reasons for your departure and embrace the exciting new role you worked so hard to get!

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