After going through the difficult process of finding a job while still employed, you’ve received an offer and are ready to make the move. However, before you can resign, your employer gives you an offer of their own in an attempt to convince you to stay. What do you do? We’ll outline how to handle this tricky situation and give you a few of the most important considerations when making the final decision in staying or leaving.
Why did you begin looking for another job in the first place? Was it about money? Career advancement? Flexibility?
If the counter offer doesn’t address the main reason that you looked at other opportunities, you should continue on with the process of submitting your resignation and giving your two-week notice.
However, if they do offer you something of interest, don’t get overwhelmed with the situation and provide a rushed answer one way or the other. Take the time to think about how decision will impact your career not only in the present but in the future as well.
Accepting or declining this counter offer will have long-term impacts on your career path. If you simply were looking for an opportunity to make some more money and your employer comes back an offer similar to the new one, it may be worth sticking around. You’re familiar with the work environment and now you’ll be getting the compensation you were looking for. For most though, salary isn’t typically the sole factor.
If you’re also looking to grow your career or take on new responsibilities and your employer doesn’t provide those things until you come back with another job offer, it’s not a good look. Ideally, you’ll want to work for an organization that promotes and recognizes its employees on a proactive basis. The reactionary nature of a counter offer is the company admitting that they didn’t provide you with everything they should have initially. Before coming to a conclusion, you must think about the likelihood of this pattern continuing.
When there’s a counter offer, there’s usually three parties involved – the employee, the current employer and the prospective employer. In the end, someone isn’t going to get their way and bridges may get burned regardless of how well it is handled.
If you decide to accept the counter offer and stay with your current company, it is critical to let the other organization know about your decision as soon as possible since they will now need to start their search again. Even after choosing to stay, you may have a relationship to repair with your current employer too.
Your company now knows that you’ve been looking at other jobs and your loyalty may be questioned going forward. With a lessened level of trust and the idea that you aren’t fully committed, you may be looked at first if any personnel changes need to made down the road.
If you choose to decline the counter offer and go forward with the new company, you should thank your current company for the opportunities they’ve given you. Although there may be some surprise from their end, if you keep things pleasant and provide a clear explanation on why this new opportunity is the right choice for you, most employers will wish you well on your next endeavor.
In the end, by considering your present and future needs along with the impact a counter offer can have on your professional relationships, you’ll be better prepared to handle this situation with the confidence and decisiveness that is required.
Have other questions about job offers? Read our blogs on when to accept a job offer and how to negotiate your next one!