How to handle counter offers

1 minute read | 16 August 2022

A counter offer is an offer from your current employer, to rival the one you have received from your future employer to convince you to stay.
They can be in many forms – usually with an increase in salary, but other times it can be additional company benefits, a promotion, change in role or any combination of these.

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Despite your search for new work, there could be many benefits to accepting a counter offer. Now that your circumstance has changed, the changes your previous employer could outweigh the benefits of the new role you had your eye on. 
It is important to consider what this means if you choose to return to your place of employment. You have displayed the fact you are taking action to leave a current company for whatever reason, so if you return – depending on a few factors, management will know that if tempted by an offer they cannot compete with you are likely to leave again. 
It is worth knowing that statistics show 89% of people who accept counter offers leave in 6 months anyway. 
If you choose to accept the offer, it is essential you have a clear understanding of what this means for your future at the company. These should state all the changes proposed to you.
Ensure the correct contracts are written up and provided to you, before you decline the job offer from the new company. 
Also, if you are given a counter offer, this opens the gate for negotiation, and you should use this opportunity to voice your opinion. If for example the reason why you wanted to leave was the lack of promotion opportunities – ask for one.
Bear in mind that your loyalty to your organisation will potentially be called into question, which may hinder future opportunities within the company.

Choosing to leave a job doesn’t always mean something negative happened or you were unhappy. Sometimes it comes down to a location move, wanting to spend more time with family or simply you’ve found a place of employment which matches the exact criteria you are looking for. This means it is important to stick to your principles and focus on the reasons you want to leave in the first place.
If your decision to leave is final, do not let a counter offer change your mind.

If you decide not to remain with your current employer, take the opportunity to thank them for the offer and exit the job with grace. Emphasise that while you enjoyed your time with the company, you remain firm in your decision to leave. 
At this stage, your resignation is complete. Read our article on how to resign without burning your bridges here.

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