Moving jobs is stressful. Most people don’t usually do it without a good reason – either because something better has come along, or because you just really, really don’t want to be where you are anymore.
Despite this, after going through the rigmarole that is the hiring process to land yourself a new role, there are so many people that fall over at the last hurdle by doing what should never be done: accepting a counter offer.
Most people are pretty surprised when they enter their boss’ office, hand in their notice and receive a counter-offer in return. In that vulnerable moment, in can be quite tempting to accept one, too! The same job as you’ve always had, but this time with more money and the promise of a more comfortable environment. No reason to uproot a large part of your life and go through the insecurity of changing companies… what’s not to like about that?
Don’t be tempted. As soon as you’ve been given the option of a counter-offer, everything changes. Here are our top 9 reasons why you should never accept that counter offer
1 – Almost everyone who accepts one leaves within 6 months
…or they’re let go by their employer within the following 12 months. This means that, even if you accept a counter-offer, there’s a 9 in 10 chance that you’ll be in the exact same position in a few months’ time – or even worse, you’ve been let go and are no longer in control of the situation. Why bother with that when you’re already in the process of leaving now?
2 – Your current employer has been undervaluing you.
It’s taken the threat of losing you for them to act on it, but all of a sudden you’re worth more money to your current employer! This is essentially the same as them admitting you’ve been underpaid this entire time. Why would you want to work for a company that undervalues your work in such a blatant way?
3 – You’re clearly no longer valued by them.
If it’s taken them all the way to the point you’ve had to resign for your boss to sit up and take notice, it’s obvious that you’re just not being valued properly. If you’ve already expressed you aren’t happy with your current pay or work environment and your boss has only acted when you’ve threatened to leave, you’re working under the wrong manager.
4 – Your loyalty to the workplace is now always undermined by your threat to resign.
Prepare to be scrutinised for every dentist visit, every doctor’s appointment, every sick day, or anything that takes time away from the office. If you’ve thought about leaving once, your boss knows you’ll probably do it again.
5 – Say goodbye to any future progression within the company
If your loyalty is going to be constantly questioned by your employer, you can’t expect to move up the career ladder with them. Your co-workers will now jump the queue, regardless of your level of experience or suitability for the role.
6 – Your company may start finding someone to replace you
This doesn’t always happen, but if you accept a counter-offer and are doing the same job on a higher salary, it’s entirely possible your boss will start looking for someone who can do the job at your original price.
7 – Being unhappy is now a part of your job, and everyone in the office knows it.
Word gets around and asking to meet with your boss doesn’t leave much to the imagination for everyone you work with. While it’s good to confide in some trusted co-workers about your issues at work, when everyone knows that you’re unhappy in your role and looking to move, things can get difficult and tense in the office.
8 – Respect is difficult to earn, but easy to lose
A count-offer might seem like a sign of respect, but don’t be fooled. Replacing an employee that has resigned is expensive and takes a lot of time. This means that most of the time, extending a counter-offer is not a sign of change, but a simple way for a boss to avoid the unnecessary cost and hassle of replacing you. As soon as you offer your resignation, your manager starts to think about you differently.
9 – Getting paid more won’t change the job
While it’s always nice to be earning more money, everything else about the job is more difficult to change. You’ll still be doing the same job, the same commute, working under the same boss and working with the same people. If these were aggravating factors in your decision to look for a new job in the first place, the idea of accepting a counter-offer doesn’t seem so appetizing anymore.
Still tempted to take that counter-offer? Probably not. It may seem like a good idea in the moment, but there are so many negative consequences packed into a counter-offer that it just isn’t worth the consideration.
Fundamentally, if you’ve gotten to the point of handing in your notice, there are clearly issues within your current role that run deeper than a bump in salary. Accept any pay-boost won’t fix these issues.
Starting your new role, however, can!