I remember the first time I resigned from a position. I was extremely nervous as I walked into my bosses office because I was recruited by another company that accelerated my career. It was a great offer and while I was not unhappy with my current job, vertical promotions were few and far between. I was prepared for a variety of response from my boss. Will he get angry and tell me to tell immediately? Or will he simply shake my hand and wish me good luck and throw me a going away party for my years (all 2.5 of them) of dedicated service. Will he not care because it wasn’t like I was in a critical position or irreplaceable ? But instead of my boss did something I was not prepared for, he asked if he could make a counteroffer for me to stay. Awkward.
It can be tempting even flattering, especially if the raise or benefits you are offered are on par with the offer to the job (we hope) you’re headed to or even better. However, in almost every case I know of where someone took the counteroffer, it was a bad idea to take the counteroffer. Want to know why?
Effect on Your Reputation
Let’s put aside the issue that if you take the counteroffer, you’ll be “that person who resigned but stayed for the money,” employee. And it will always be that way for your remaining tenure. Counteroffers are usually made when a company—or a manager—is in panic mode and doesn’t want to suddenly lose an employee, especially one that is potentially valuable to company projects, clients or outcomes—at least not until they can be replaced easily. If you know there is no one who can step up and take over your duties in relatively short order then it’s because of you the counter offer is being made; it because of what you do. That is a big difference.
Some people are hard to replace because of who they are, for example, Steve Jobs or Jack Welch. They were unique in vision and strategy that no one could be them or produce the same outcomes. However, most of us do not fall into this category. Most of us are cogs in the big machine.
Effect On Future Earnings
So while you may take the counteroffer, enjoy more take home pay or maybe they give you a “bonus”, thinking everything is okay, it’s very likely that management is working on ways to replace you or workaround needing what you do. They will eventually label you an “at risk” employee and looks for ways to mitigate that risk. They will assume that will look for a new position eventually again anyway. and if you left because of management problems or the kind, then the nice raise or bonus will not be enough to gloss over how you really feel.
Additionally, if your counteroffer came with a substantial raise, don’t expect a regular merit or cost-of-living increase when everyone else gets one. Your managers will (rightfully) point out that “you just got a big increase when you threatened to leave,” and that will stick with you for years.
Many recruiters and HR professionals note that employees that take counteroffers usually leave or are pushed out in a few months afterward anyway, and once you decline the offer with the new company, that door may not be as open as it was initially if you reach out a second time. All in all, if you’re at the point where you’re ready to leave a job, it’s probably time to go, counteroffer or no.
Have you ever taken a counteroffer? Would you ever take one if the pot looked sweet enough? Let us know in the comments below.
If you would like more information on engaging your employees before they leave contact a senior consultant with Ember Carriers at (513) 984-9333 for a 30-minute complimentary consultation to discuss your company’s needs.
This story was originally published by Lifehacker.
- 6 Reasons to Reject a Counteroffer (money.usnews.com)
- I hereby resign (raganwald.posterous.com)
- How Honest Should I Be in My Exit Interview? [Ask Lifehacker] (lifehacker.com)