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Imagine it: you’ve gone through the interview process and received an offer for a new position with a new company. Congratulations! You schedule a meeting with your superiors and inform them of your intent to move on. Your manager tells you that they need to discuss this with their superior, and soon after your boss comes to you with a counteroffer. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, you are a valuable member of your team.

It might be tempting to take that counteroffer, especially if you were leaving over salary concerns. We know this is controversial to say, but you should turn down the counteroffer. Here are a few reasons why you should politely decline that offer.

The manager has their own agenda.

Even if you are the best employee to ever walk through the doors of your job, there is always another resource that can occupy your space. Your team can and will go on without you—so why would your manager act like that’s not the case? Simply put, hiring someone to replace you is a long, tedious process that will cost the organization a lot of money and time. They want you to stay on to avoid those costs and any issues with your projects.

While some managers keep going like nothing happened after you accept their counteroffer, some use counteroffers as an opportunity to buy themselves more time to find the best replacement for you. Once that replacement is found, however, you’ll be out, and won’t have another company’s offer to fall back on. Statistically, almost all individuals who accept a counteroffer leave the organization within the next year.

There’s a reason you want to leave.

Something made you start looking for a new position, and that reason is most likely not going to change—even if it’s just a needed raise. Think about it: if you have to threaten to quit to get the raise you deserve, do you really think things will be better down the line when you need another raise?

There are a variety of reasons for leaving a position, including pay, commute, work environment, and your personal and professional goals. Don’t doubt your decision to leave. None of these things will change dramatically in the long term should you accept the counteroffer.

In fact…

The only thing that will change is your pay.

At the end of the day, the only thing that will change about your situation is your pay. A pay boost is always nice, but it’s not everything. You have to decide for yourself whether a pay boost is the most important factor in your career path.

It makes you look bad.

Accepting a counteroffer can make others view you in a negative light. Your loyalty and commitment to the business is already questioned once you submit your resignation, and that does not change if you choose to accept a counteroffer. This can create awkwardness between you and your manager (and possibly coworkers as well).

Counteroffers are a one time deal.

No one likes feeling backed into a corner. You may get results the first time you threaten to leave, but if you use the same tactic again with hopes of improving your current situation further, you will have very different results. Instead of scrambling to put together another offer, your manager will wish you luck in your new endeavors—effectively calling your bluff.

The grass is not always greener and, although a higher compensation package or title may be tempting, it is important to take a step back and review your current employment situation with a mentor.  They will be able to remove the emotion from the decision which can at times cloud judgement. Ultimately, it remains your decision.

If you look to further your career goals, get started by looking through our job boards or by making an appointment with a member of our JDC Group recruitment team.


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