Why You Should Never Accept a Counter Offer from Your Employer

So you’ve just received a job offer for a new role that ticks all the boxes. But there’s one thing making you doubt whether you should go: When you handed in your resignation to your current employer, they’re throwing all kinds of tempting counter offers at you to convince you to stay. 

And suddenly, you’re asking yourself: is my current job really as bad as I think it is? Would the extra money make me happy enough to stay? Maybe moving jobs will be stressful and what if the new role is worse than my current one? 

It’s no wonder that in situations like this, a lot of people will take a salary rise and stay put instead of moving forward with a new job offer. 

But it’s worth remembering that of those candidates who accept a counter offer, 50% end up regretting it and leave within a year anyway. 

Here are a few reasons you should think very carefully before ever accepting a counter offer from your employer.

Nothing changes except your salary

Research has shown that only 12% of employees want to leave their job for a better salary, whereas 89% of employers think that’s their only motive for doing so. 

So, what was the reason you decided to look for a new job in the first place? Do you find your role unchallenging? Struggle to get along with your colleagues? See no space for further progression?

Whatever your reason was for leaving, the situation will still stand. If you except a counter offer, the only thing that will change is your salary.

Your employer might probe to unpick what’s made you unhappy enough to hand in your resignation. But do you really believe there’s anything they can - or will - do to fix things? Because if so, surely you would’ve just had that conversation instead of looking for a new job.

Your employer is admitting they’ve been undervaluing you 

If your current employer goes in all guns blazing and offers you a substantial salary increase in order to keep you, you have to ask yourself: If this is what I’m worth, why weren’t they paying me this before I threatened to leave the company? 

Essentially, your employer is admitting that they’ve been underpaying you all this time. You might think this is water under the bridge now, but it will eat away at you later.

Your future employer, on the other hand, has shown that they see potential in you that your current employer hasn’t appreciated until now. New hires are always a risk, and your future employer clearly thinks you’re worth it. 

Why not take the risk with them instead of with an employer who is making you unhappy?

There’s no chance for future progression

No matter what your boss tells you right now in order to keep you, the relationship was damaged the minute you admitted you’re talking to another employer about a role. 

Staying put because they’ve offered you more money isn’t going to repair the relationship either – even if they try to make it seem that way.

Despite what they say, they will no longer trust you in the way they did before, and this will have an impact on your future with the organization. For example, the chances of you being promoted internally when up against someone else in the company (who, in their eyes, they can still trust) will be slim-to-none.  

It’s good to get out your comfort zone

There are a whole load of reasons why 2022 is the perfect time to change jobs. But one reason that stands no matter what the job market looks like is that staying in your comfort zone is never good for your career. 

The world might feel very unstable right now (because it is!) and it might seem like staying in your current role is the best option to play it safe. But nothing great ever comes out of taking the comfortable option when it comes to your career. 

Counter offers are just a stalling tactic 

No one is denying that your employer wants to keep you, but it’s worth being very sceptical about what their real motives are. 

Replacing staff is expensive, and once you take into consideration things like training costs and downtime, a ‘new you’ is likely to cost a lot more than your than your raise is worth. 

This is why, in reality, counter offers are usually just a stalling tactic employers will use until they can find your replacement at a lower price. So in this sense, you’re actually doing the company a favour by sticking around. 

Any good recruitment consultant should prepare you for the possibility of a receiving a counter offer from your very first conversation. In some cases, they might suggest staying in your current role is the right option for your career – but this will only work if you haven’t told your employer that you’re considering other roles. 

If you’re unhappy in your current role, speak to one of our specialist recruiters to find out what your options in the current job market. At Lusona, we’re here to help!

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