Be Wary of the Counter Offer!

10 Apr 2013 | Naomi Marshall

So… you’ve been offered a new job!!! You type up that letter of resignation, walk over to your boss, hand it over, and think “wooohoo it’s official – I’m out of here!” Just when you think it is all settled…… your current employer hits you with a counter offer!

Now I know that a counter offer may be enticing… but if you really think about it… it’s a bit of a slap in the face…

Why didn’t they offer you the extra money initially? Why did it take the threat of leaving to be offered that promotion, or that pay increase?

Now let’s be honest, initially receiving that counter offer feels good right…? It feels pretty amazing that your employer wants to keep you. However, before you jump on that counter-offer and start daydreaming about spending the extra $$$, I urge you to ask yourself the following question….


  • Will the further career opportunities I was looking for open up for me with this counter-offer?
  • Will that manager that was mistreating me, magically have a change in personality over night because of this counter offer?
  • Will the culture of the company I am working in magically change because of this counter offer?
  • Will I still dislike the tasks and responsibilities of the role even though I am going to be paid more?

You might look at that last question and think that more money might make you happier, however from experience; if you dislike your job, a few extra $$$ will not make you wake up excited to go to work every day.

Too often we experience candidates accepting counter offers only to call us a month or two later when nothing has really changed, they are still unhappy and looking to leave again. And guess what… sometimes they don’t get an offer as good as the first one and end up settling for a lower level role simply to get out of the job they have grown to hate!

If the counter offer really does appear to be too good to refuse (e.g. they had a plan for you that were unaware of and you believe that employer really does value you), then make sure you get that counter offer in writing before rejecting the other role. Clarify every aspect of the counter offer and make sure you are aware of the time frames involved.

You don’t want to be that candidate calling a recruiter back in a couple of months when you realise that the promises that were made are false! Believe me, it happens all the time!

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