How to handle Counter Offers


In recent years, counter offers have become quite common. “It’s almost like a part of the accepted ‘divorce’ proceedings. But while counter offers can be tempting, take care not to fall into the trap or be blinded to your own detriment. Career changes are tough enough as it is, and anxieties about leaving a comfortable job, friends and location and having to reprove yourself again in an unknown opportunity can cloud the best of logic. But just because the new position is a little scary doesn’t mean it’s not a positive move.


There are many reasons for declining a counter:


  • You never want to advance your career through force


If you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit each time you want to get better treatment from your company, you’re probably better off going to an employer who appreciates their staff and rewards them appropriately.


  • You are perceived as a security risk and disloyal to the company


After you have demonstrated yourself as disloyal by looking for opportunities outside the company, you will lose your status as a team player, and your motives will always be questioned.



  • Your employer is merely stalling for time


Usually, by counter offering, your current employer has bought himself or herself some time to look for a replacement or to make a transition on their own timetable. Statistics show that 60% of people who accept counter offers to stay, leave their employment within twelve months, either because their employers arrange a replacement in their own time, or because the real reasons for wanting to change your job in the first place, have not gone away.


Since all signs point to trouble by accepting a counter offer, here are some of the ways to avoid a counter offer situation:


  • If it seems as if you are walking into a counter offer situation you need to take command as soon as you have evidence that the conversation is heading toward a counter offer. Politely interrupt with a statement such as “The last thing that I want to be inferred from my resignation is that I am trying to blackmail the company into keeping me. After doing my own thorough investigation, I’ve simply found a situation that I can’t pass up. I hope you respect that.” You may also want to offer any assistance to ensure a smooth transition before your departure.
  • Many times an experienced manager will try to use emotional tactics to keep an employee from leaving the company.

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