You’ve just landed a new job and with offer in hand, you are meeting with your boss to give your notice. And surprise! They spring a counteroffer on you to stay – possibly more money, a promotion, or even a new job title. What should you do?
Before you automatically say “yes” to the counteroffer here are some factors to consider:
How satisfied are you with your current role?
- Why were you looking for a new job in the first place?
- How realistic is it that if you stay, you’ll be glad you did? Or will the same feelings (dissatisfaction, frustration, etc.) about your job continue to haunt you?
Remember there was a reason you decided to look for a new job in the first place.
How likely is it that your company follows through?
- Does your manager have the authority to offer you the counteroffer? Is Human Resources involved?
- Can you trust your manager to follow through on the counteroffer?
- Will you actually get more money or that promotion?
Ask yourself how confident you feel that your boss/company will stand by their word.
Is career advancement important to you?
- Does staying at your current job figure into your long-term career goals?
- Is there room for growth where you are or have you reached as high as you can go?
- Does the new job offer opportunities for growth?
If career growth is important to you and your options are limited at your current company, the counteroffer may not be enough of an incentive to stay.
Is more compensation the answer?
- Is more money from your current employer going to make you happier?
- Will more money make the job, culture, etc. a better fit?
- Will more money lead to more satisfaction day to day?
Is more money just a temporary fix before you start thinking about leaving again?
Will you regret not taking the new role?
- Does the new job excite you and light a spark again in your career? Does it present new challenges and learning opportunities you’ve been looking for?
- Do you think you’ll second guess and regret your decision to let the new opportunity go?
- What does your gut tell you?
Listening to your inner voice can be helpful in making a decision.
If you do decide to take the counteroffer, here are four tips for accepting the counteroffer:
1. Get it in writing.
Get details in writing from HR or your boss to show that your counteroffer has been approved. Be sure it includes all relevant details – new pay rate, updated duties, new job title, etc. – in writing.
2. Let the new employer know (and your recruiter if you’ve been working with one) that you’ve accepted a counteroffer.
Be sure to call and let all relevant parties know that you have decided to stay with your current employer. However, be aware that if you do this, you may have closed the door on any opportunities to work for that company in the future.
3. Realize that your current employer may view you differently.
Even though you decided to stay, they may see you as less loyal because now they know you were looking for a new job and may wonder how long you will stay.
4. Be sure you are ready to stay.
If your current employer has followed through and made the counteroffer official be committed to staying – at least for a while to see if you truly feel better about the role.
There are many factors that come into play when choosing to accept a counteroffer. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
Sometimes it’s time to leave and take the next step in your career no matter what your current employer offers. Only you know the answer to that, but considering questions like those above – and listening to your intuition – can help you think through the process and make a decision.