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Beware the Counteroffer

Gary Zelamsky

by
Gary Zelamsky, President

If you like what you are doing, learn new skills every day, enjoy a great relationship with your boss, and see real career growth potential with your current employer but think you are underpaid a few grand, then don't talk to recruiters. You should explain your thoughts to your boss and see if there is room for higher compensation.

However, if you are less than thrilled with your current job or if you've tried to get more money and were turned down, then it's time to think about moving on. Once you decide to accept another offer, there is a possibility that your former boss might make a counteroffer. Beware!! There are many reasons to pass on the counteroffer, and continue moving forward with the new company.

As soon as you announce your resignation to your former employer, there is an immediate and permanent loss of trust. You may get a counteroffer because your former employer:

  • Is short staffed and needs a body to get the work done.
  • Doesn't want the hassle or expense of recruiting, hiring and training a replacement.
  • May have difficulty in finding someone with your skills.
  • Would hurt his/her image or record due to the turnover.
  • Would have to work harder for a while to handle your workload.

While all these reasons make sense for your former employer, none of them are good reasons for you to accept that counteroffer. Not only will you have the same issues as before, but you also have to deal with a boss who will probably carry mistrust and resentment for a long time to come. When the next promotional opportunity arises, do you think you would get the same consideration as someone else who hadn't already presented a resignation? Let's face it - things can never be the same again.

On the other hand, the new company is making you a better offer because they think highly of your skills, attitude and potential to add significant value. You have every reason to stick with your original acceptance and move on to greener pastures.


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