Once you’ve gone through the entire process of submitting your resume to new jobs, interviewing, and negotiating, it’s understandable why you’d be relieved when they finally offer you the job. When you tell your boss you’re leaving, they may surprise you with a counteroffer. And then you have a decision to make: take the new job or stay at the old one.
In a national survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, nearly 40% of HR leaders and senior executives agreed that to accept a counteroffer from a current employer will negatively affect a person’s career. However, the vast majority of those surveyed agreed there were times that a counteroffer should be considered.
Whatever the situation, counteroffers are extremely stressful for both the employer and the employee. If you find yourself facing a counteroffer from your employer, you may want to think about the following things:
Why do you want a new job?
Is it just about the money? Or are you unsatisfied with your schedule, your work conditions, or what you’re actually doing? There are other things you’ll need to factor into the salary considerations. For example, how far away is your current job, and how is the commute with your potential new job? Will you be able to dress more casually and therefore not have to spend as much money on clothes? How are the benefits with your current job as opposed to your possible new job?
Will your job be safe if you stay?
If your employer counteroffers, they will know that you were ready to leave the position. They may want to replace you for this reason, whether it’s in two months or six months. They may have just given you a counteroffer to keep you until they can find a good replacement.
How will you be treated if you stay at your current place of employment?
If you accept a counteroffer, you may be treated differently by your employer and co-workers. Also, if your employer is paying you more, they are going to have more expectations about your performance. Are you going to be motivated to deliver?
Do they value you as an employee?
If you approached your boss previously about adjusting your salary, schedule, etc. and they didn’t say yes at the time, even if this is part of your counteroffer, it’s likely only because it benefits them in some way. If they really valued you as an employee, they would have said yes to your requests the first time you approached them.
In general, counteroffers do not usually work out. There are some situations in which they should be considered, but the majority of the time, they don’t work out. Before you make any big decisions, though, make sure you have fully considered the situation.