Helping to enhance careers

The Counter Offer




You initially considered changing companies, because your present position can no longer offer the growth potential to match your experience. It is true to say that your present company has helped you progress professionally and as a result, you may feel uncomfortable resigning.  You will be leaving fellow managers and colleagues. You may even see some of them outside of work as social friends. These people may have been instrumental in advancing your career. All or some may make you feel uneasy, however….

“So what can I expect when I tender my resignation?” your company will be sorry to lose you. You have contributed to their sales and profits. You are probably involved at the moment in a project within your workplace that requires your talents. Put yourself in your boss’s position. What would you do?


The Counter Offer


It is natural to resist change and disruption. Your boss will be no exception. He will want to keep you and will attempt to do so with a counter offer. In his eyes, your acceptance of a new job is definitely a mistake.

Counter offers have many variations:

  1. “This is confidential and I shouldn’t really be telling you this, but we are looking at promoting you in the next six months.”
  2. “We will match your new offer and put it into effect next pay day. I had meant to review it anyway.”
  3. “Don’t make a decision now, have a think about it and we’ll sit down next week and discuss it.”


Implications of the Counter Offer


Of course, it is flattering that your company is concerned to hear that you are leaving, so your emotions can obscure the reasons behind your decision to leave. It is natural to be apprehensive about leaving and to let that one final nagging doubt about doing the right thing grow out of proportion the more your boss tries to convince you. Stop, and ask yourself these questions:

  1. “I made the decision to leave because I felt the new position offered me the best environment to fulfil my career needs. If I stay, will the situation here really improve just because I said I was leaving?”
  2. “If I stay, will my loyalty be suspect and affect my chance for advancement once the dust has settled?”
  3. “This salary increase makes me expensive for the job position I’m in. How will that affect any future increases?”
  4. “I got this counter because I resigned – will I have to do that next time I think I’m ready for a raise or promotion?”


The Professional Attitude


The professional manager will make a career decision objectively. It will be free of the emotional pressures one is likely to feel when being urged to reconsider. Advice will be offered by well-meaning friends, relatives and business associates. Depend primarily upon your own judgement because, quite simply, you are the only one who can fully understand the implications.

Remember…. The counter offer is only a belated recognition of the contribution you have made to your company. If it had come unprompted, wouldn’t that be a lot more flattering? Move ahead with the goal of making yourself as valuable to your new employer as you now know you were to your previous one.