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You’ve just accepted an offer from your new employer after being on the market and now it’s time to let your boss know that you will be leaving. Often, the default response for your employer will be to draft a counteroffer that either increases your current salary or will offer more responsibility.


This may seem incredibly generous and difficult to turn down, but you need to understand what that counteroffer is saying about you.


The only way to understand where that counteroffer is coming from, is to step into the mind of a business owner. An employee has just informed you that they will be leaving your company in search for career progression, either you can accept their letter of resignation and endure a lengthy hiring process to find their replacement or match their new contract to avoid the troubles.


What does that say about you, the employee?


Despite the extra cash in your back pocket and the feeling of importance after a disguised plea to keep you at the company, your internal reputation will ultimately take a hit because you’ve now shown that you aren’t loyal to your current employer, anymore. On a side note: If you used a recruiter to help your job search, you would have also damaged your relationship with them and your reputation in the market


Can or will they trust that you aren’t still on the market?


If you did receive a nice pay rise, unfortunately, that money didn’t come out of the CEO’s back pocket, that new salary will almost certainly come from the year-end bonuses or your annual increase. If you do decide that money is the most important factor in your decision to resign, preferably ask for at least a 20% increase, but don’t expect another salary update anytime soon.


If you’re serious about branching out then it’s important to identify exactly why you are on the market. Statistics show that 80% of candidates are back on the market after 6 months of accepting a counteroffer.


A counteroffer may give you temporary financial relief, but, regardless of how you conducted yourself up to that point, it will be a disservice to the rest of your tenure at the company. You’re unlikely to be considered for the next promotion and if times get tough, you’ll most likely be first out the door because loyalty always comes first.


But if the new contract is in front of you and you’re ready to sign, take a minute and ask yourself the following questions:


  1. Are they presenting this to me because I’m a valuable team-member or rather to save them the higher cost of replacing me?
  2. Where is this money coming from?
  3. If I accept, will they continue to trust me?
  4. Why didn’t they offer me an increase before? Was I not worth it?
  5. If I accept, will the main reason I started looking for work change?
  6. Can I be bought into staying at a company and in a job that is not full-filling?


Counteroffers are enticing, they are hard to turn down and less hassle of getting to know a whole office of new people. But you could be making your current situation even worse, so remember the true reasons why you were looking to move in the first place and make a smart, informed choice that benefits you and your employer.

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