Park discusses why you should not be tempted to accept a counter offer when you resign.
It may seem to be the best of both worlds, you’ve interviewed and been successful in securing a new role with another organisation, and then when you resign your current employer makes you an enticing offer to encourage you to reconsider your resignation. So essentially you have two companies vying to get you on their team which is obviously very flattering, but the truth is, this puts you in a quandary. Do you stay or do you go?
My advice is to not accept the counter offer and here are my reasons why:
You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on your commitment to the firm will always be in question therefore you may be overlooked for promotion, or not asked to be involved in specific projects, as your loyalty is in doubt so there will always be a concern that you will jump ship at any given moment. Despite reassurances you may not be seen as a true member of the team any longer.
You have only received a counter offer because you resigned. If you’re worth your increased salary and responsibilities, why wasn’t this been recognised before you handed in your notice? Part of your frustration from the outset may be that you’re undervalued and if it takes your resignation for this to be noticed you may be better off with an organisation that is more proactive in helping you fulfil your career ambitions.
It’s not all about the money
A counter-offer may not just be about a pay rise, it could aim to address other key motivators like level of responsibly or work/life balance. But unless salary was the sole purpose for looking at new opportunities, counter-offers are rarely the answer. In our experience, most people who accept them find themselves looking for a new job a few months later, when the situation that caused them to explore the market still hasn’t been resolved.
Be aware of the wider market
If you do accept a counter-offer that results in a substantial increase in salary, you may end up being overpaid compared to the market rate for your level of experience. This could make an external move in the future challenging, as your remuneration won’t accurately reflect your value in the market.
You could lose both jobs
On top of all the other potential problems, remember that you could end up losing not just one but both jobs if you push things too far. If you are banking on using an offer from another company just to get more money out of your employer, you’re playing a very dangerous game. The same goes for the offering company if they feel you are using a counter offer to get more out of them.
It’s really important to think about your reasons for wanting to change jobs prior to commencing your search. Then have a chat to your manager and air your issues, there may be something they can do or can investigate for you. If your complaints remain unresolved then pursue opportunities outside of your workplace. That way, you have acted professionally and given your employer the opportunity to remedy your frustrations before seeking an alternative opportunity with a new organisation.