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What to Do When Your Employer Makes a Counteroffer

Your current job is obviously not working out for you. You want something else and that's just not readily available where you are. Maybe you need more flexibility, a promotion, increased responsibilities … whatever your need, your current company is unable to provide it, and that's the reason you applied for a new job in the first place. But now that you have a job offer and have let your manager know your intention of leaving soon, things have started to change. Your manager wants to do everything in her power to get you to stay. She's had a discussion with HR and is making you a counteroffer. Should you accept it?

Your current job is obviously not working out for you. You want something else and that’s just not readily available where you are. Maybe you need more flexibility, a promotion, increased responsibilities … whatever your need, your current company is unable to provide it, and that’s the reason you applied for a new job in the first place. But now that you have a job offer and have let your manager know your intention of leaving soon, things have started to change. Your manager wants to do everything in her power to get you to stay. She’s had a discussion with HR and is making you a counteroffer. Should you accept it?

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(Photo Credit: nist6dh/Flickr)

Here are a few things to consider

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. When a person puts in his papers, he is always going to be seen as a flight risk. So even if you do accept the counteroffer from your company, you’re going to be watched very closely and you may not always be privy to confidential company information. Winning back trust is going to take a while, if it happens at all.

2. Understand why your manager and your HR want you to stay back so bad. Are you working on a project that’s crucial? Is there a manager evaluation due soon? Is there an employee engagement survey coming up? If so, that could mean that you are only being retained as a quick fix. It may also mean that you are being retained as a stop-gap, till your back-fill is identified, after which you may be asked to go.  

3. Assuming that you already shared your concerns with your manager, the fact that there wasn’t any action toward addressing the situation until after you’d given your notice doesn’t reflect well on your company’s people practices. If they did not find you fit for promotion or a raise before, how does a notice to quit suddenly make you qualified?

4. In the point above, it is crucial to note that a discussion should have taken place in the past. However, if you have not shared anything with your manager and/or your manager is unaware of your career/financial aspirations, then the situation could have been handled better and you and your manager are both at fault for not having discussed this issue when it mattered.

5. Even if you do choose to join the new organization, make sure that you are properly handing over your responsibilities and wrapping up your projects. It’s in your best interest not to burn the bridges before you cross over. As I always emphasize, the corporate world is very small.

At the end of the day, the decision to stay or leave is going to be yours. Make sure that you are convinced about the decision you make, own it, and don’t look back.

Tell Us What You Think

How did you handle a counteroffer? Share your suggestions with our community on Twitter or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Padmaja Ganeshan Singh
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