Counter offer: The wrong answer

You have found a new job or a headhunter has contacted you and you are now ready to resign. But your current employer has made a counter-offer for you to stay on. Should you accept this counter-offer? Spring Professional explains why accepting a counter-offer is not always a good idea and gives you advice on what to do if your employer makes you such an offer.
Career Advice

Should you accept a counter offer?

The below is the result of a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal. Experience speaks louder than words.  

survey accept employer's counteroffer
93 percent of those accepting counter offers had left, some voluntarily and some fired within 18 months and the remaining 7 percent were actively seeking new employment. 
The most important is to always remember that that the reasons why you are looking out for a job have not disappeared with a counter offer.

Why is it dangerous to accept a counter offer?

- No matter what the company says when making its counteroffer, you will always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for whatever reason), you will lose your status as a “team player” and your place in the inner circle.
- Counteroffers are usually nothing more than stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.
- Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion or promises made to keep you.
- Counteroffers are only made in response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions? 

Let's face the fact that employers don't like to be "fired". A resignation is a process about YOU. A counter offer is a process about THEM (the employers). A counter offer is a short term fix for a long term issue. So bumping your salary is an easy way to buy your boss time to plot your replacement. 

Ever talked to a recruiter that is working on a "Confidential" replacement search. The position to be filled is currently held by a person who does not know they are being replaced? Sound familiar?

The tricky Ego trigger

Employers know how this one works very well. Don’t be surprised nor fooled by an attempt to make you feel indispensable. Counteroffers are typically made in conjunction with some form of guilt or flattery. For example: 
- You're too valuable to the team, and we need you.
- You don't want to desert the team and leave them hanging, do you? 
- Congratulation, we were just about to give you a promotion/raise, but it was confidential until today.
- What did they offer, why are you leaving, and what do you need to stay?
- Why would you want to work for that company? 
- The VP wants to meet with you personally before you make your final decision

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What is the best way to deal with counteroffers?

Don’t leave the door open.
Don't allow a counteroffer discussion to begin in the first place.
Stay in control of the situation.
Inform your boss in a professional and confident voice that your mind is made up, and you'll do everything you can to make the hand over process easy.
Work out your notice if required and be professional about your departure. 

You might still feel awkward during your last few weeks (or hours); that's just human nature. But by exiting in a professional manner, you have hopefully left behind some solid references as well as some friends. 

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