Written by Jon Isaac on 07/07/2016
Deciding to change jobs is a huge decision for anyone. There’s the excitement of a new challenge but there’s also the looming prospect that this new challenge won’t be as fulfilling as the current one. Once you have accepted a position in a different firm, your current employer may decide to offer you an improvement on your contract. This is known as a counter offer.
Counter-offers make the final decision to move away from your current employer even more difficult. Ultimately, whether you stay or go depends entirely on the reasons you were looking to move in the first place.
In recent years counter-offers have become more common place as businesses desperately try to hold on to their top talent. Furthermore, your employer will not want your skills benefitting a rival company. So if you have been counter-offered you should definitely take it as a compliment! However there are a multitude of reasons to consider before making a decision to accept or reject a counter offer.
Why did you start looking for a new role?
There are many reasons why counter offers are tempting – you may be offered more money, or a promotion, all whilst being able to stay with colleagues in a company you know well. A counter-offer can cloud logical judgment and thus it is always good to remind yourself of why you were looking for a new role in the first place.
If, for example, the main reason for moving is to increase your salary, then the counter-offer could be the right choice. If you are happy at your current company and your employer is willing to offer you the extra money you want, then it is worth considering the offer. However, the fact that a pay increase was only achieved through the threat of resignation suggests that future pay rises may not be forthcoming.
However, if you are unhappy in your current position, or fail to see how your career will progress, then it may be best to reject the counter-offer. If your reasons for leaving are directly related to your present company and role, then an increase in salary is unlikely to improve your working life.
Ultimately you should ensure that your reasons for seeking alternative employment match your reasons for accepting a counter offer. If you are looking for more flexible working hours, it would be illogical to accept a counter-offer based solely on a salary increase as more money won’t solve the problem in this instance.
The safety of working at a company you already know with people you’re already acquainted with make counter-offers particularly alluring. It is thus important that you don’t let your personal relationship with your current company cloud your judgment. Taking a step back to examine your reasons for wanting to leave will enable you to properly determine the true value of a counter-offer and correctly weigh it against an offer from a new firm.