Why You Shouldn't Accept a Counteroffer

23 November 2021

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Bear with me, I know exactly how it sounds. Of course I’m going to tell you not to accept a counteroffer from your employer! But just hear me out because I’m going to tell you why. Going through the process of finding a new job is incredibly stressful and exhausting. From meticulously updating and perfecting your CV, tailoring your cover letter to match each job you apply for, preparing for and attending multiple interviews to negotiating an offer with your potential new employer, it’s a lot! By the end of the process, the feelings of fear and doubt can start to creep in. Starting a new job, building up a whole new network of colleagues, and getting adjusted to an unfamiliar place is tough, and you could find yourself pulled in two different directions.

It's no surprise then really when handing in your notice and being given a counteroffer, that accepting it could be the answer to the problem. Maybe you’ve been offered a promotion, some more interesting work, a higher salary – it would be silly to turn it down, right?

Wrong.

There’s a well-known statistic thrown around in recruitment that 80% of employees that accept a counteroffer leave within 6 months of accepting it, so imagine going through that job-hunting process all over again so quickly! Ask your family and friends if they’ve ever been through the same and see what they tell you. I myself accepted a counteroffer once, and not only did I leave a few months afterward, the higher salary I was offered never even came to fruition.

So, let me use my experience to tell you why you shouldn’t accept that counteroffer.

You decided to look for a new job for a reason, what was it? Clearly, you weren’t enjoying your current role, so have a think about whether that counteroffer is going to make those old problems go away.

Handing in your notice has triggered your company offering you more benefits, but why did it have to get to this point for them to do that? If they’re happy to pay you more then why weren’t they doing that in the first place?

It shouldn’t be this way, but word travels fast. Before lunchtime, you can guarantee most of your colleagues know that you planned to leave, and that’s bound to make the office environment strained to say the least.

Finally, a verbal counteroffer means nothing. Learn from my mistake, if the offer wasn’t in writing, chances are you were promised something that was never going to happen.

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