5 things to consider before accepting a counter-offer

Feeling stale in your current role and well overdue for a pay increase, you throw your hat in the ring for a great position and low and behold you now have a very attractive offer on the table. Without giving it a second thought, you accept the offer and swan into work the next day, resignation letter in hand, visualising a dramatic exit ‘Jerry Maguire’ style.

But things don’t exactly go to plan. First, you can’t quite get up the courage to tell your Manager all the things you had planned to say to them, and instead you thank them profusely for the amazing opportunity and promise to keep in touch. And then the unexpected happens. Your manager tells you that they really value you as an employee and don’t want to lose you, so will match what your prospective employer is offering to keep you – and that’s considerably more than what you’re currently on!

You let your manager know you’ll get back to them in the morning, and while you walk out of the meeting feeling invincible, you’re now increasingly more confused and conflicted. You’re starting to have doubts about your prospective employer and job opportunity. Maybe it would be better to stick with what you know and are familiar with… perhaps it wasn’t all that bad… what if my new role isn’t as good as I thought it was going to be??

Before you turn down the job offer with your prospective employer and decide to stay put, here are 5 things you should seriously consider:

  1. There was a reason you were looking elsewhere in the first place. A few extra dollars won’t change that, and the issues you had previously will still be there.
  2. You don’t want to burn your bridges. Adelaide is a small place and by letting down the organisation you had accepted the offer from, you will likely damage any future opportunity to work there, as well as any organisation the key person you were dealing with works at in the future.
  3. The trust has been broken with your current employer.Now your employer knows you’ve been looking elsewhere and while they might counter offer, this could be a knee-jerk reaction. You may in fact find your relationship with management is fairly awkward from then on.  Your loyalty could now be in question and, worse yet, you could find yourself out of a job shortly after.
  4. Money isn’t everything. If your prospective employer is offering a role that’s challenging, stimulating and in a positive work environment you really need to weigh up what’s important to you and whether the extra cash is really worth staying for.
  5. Statistics show that the majority of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving that organisation within 6 months.

This isn’t to say you should never accept a counter offer, but while it might feel like you have the upper hand initially, your employer may have simply panicked at the thought of finding a replacement and the counter offer isn’t at all based on their value of you as an employee.


Written by Melanie Mansfield