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The Counter-Offer Dilemma

Without sounding callous, try taking all loyalty to any firm out of the equation

The Counter-Offer Dilemma

Here’s the scene: for reasons known to you, you’ve decided to apply for a new job. You’ve contacted an agency, attended interviews and have accepted an offer. Great stuff!

Then comes the difficult conversation with your boss where you formally hand in your notice and, perhaps to your surprise, they present you with a counter-offer.

You’re in a fortunate situation – you have the luxury choice! But before you make a quick decision, now is the time to crystallise exactly what it is you want from your career and which opportunity will satisfy those needs the best.

To help you make the best decision for you, here are five things for you to give good thought to:

1) You needed to resign in order to get a pay rise

A well-managed company will not make counter-offers as their salaries are fair and based on current market conditions. As flattering as it is to be offered more money, the fact is you had to resign before this happened. If any part of the reason you wanted to leave was due to, for example, low morale or bad management, think seriously about whether an extra bit of cash would remedy that in the long term?*

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2) Are your resignation reasons going to be addressed?

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said: “For things to change for you, you’ve got to change”. Think about why you decided to interview elsewhere; Are there personnel conflicts? Does the company’s ethos differ from your beliefs? Whatever the reasons, don’t rely on other people to change the way they do things because you handed in your notice. Be sure that the same problems won’t arise a few weeks down the line when things return to normal.

3) How did you feel when you accepted the new offer?

We tend to feel strongest about our most recent experiences, so it makes sense if the latest counter-offer is the thing racing through your brain. This is why taking time is so important. Think back to your interviews and how you felt after being offered the new job. What were the reasons for accepting? Are they still valid? What opportunities were discussed? The fact you have been offered the role demonstrates their belief in you, so don’t deny yourself new and exciting experiences because you feel pressured by your current employers.

4) What will work for you?

Without sounding callous, try taking all loyalty to any firm out of the equation and see what you are left with. It’s absolutely fine if your gut instinct tells you to stay put – sometimes people need an awakening to appreciate their staff – but therein lies the key: what does your gut instinct say? That visceral, biological reaction will be guiding you to make the best decision that fits in with you, your morals and the life you want to lead – clever stuff!

5) Where will you be happiest?

We all talk about how we spend more time at the office with our work colleagues than we do at home with our friends and family. This being the case, surely it makes sense to spend that time in an environment where we flourish and feel fulfilled? If you value yourself, you will value your time, so really think about which option will positively impact your life and contribute to you fulfilling your professional ambitions. Life’s too short not to!

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Good luck and here’s to the next step in your professional career!

*  It’s worth mentioning that statistics compiled by the National Employment Association highlight that over 80 per cent of those who accept a counteroffer are no longer with that company 6 months later!

About The Author

James Kingston, M.D, Kingston Barnes – Delivering market leading recruitment in construction – Ambassador, Institute of Recruiters IOR

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