Beware of the Counter Offer Trap

 

Beware of the Counter Offer Trap

Great News! You’ve just accepted a job offer for a job that gives “what you wanted that you didn’t have now” in your present position.

Now you need to give notice.  How will your boss react?  It’s common for your boss to think:

  • You’re one of the best performers. How will you be replaced? Keep the team together?
  • What inconvenient timing – how can I possible replace you in only 2 weeks?
  • Where are you going to work – for a competitor of mine?
  • How can I get you to stay until I find and train your replacement?

For sure if you are a performer for your company then your boss won’t want you to walk out the door – especially to a competitor.  They will make every attempt to convince you to stay now OR if you do leave, they are likely to contact you within 30 – 60 days after you have started your new job to try to get you to come back. They will either:

  • Make you a counter offer
  • Make you feel incredibly guilty and disloyal
  • ‘Loving’ you liked they’ve never ‘loved’ you before – be suspicious of this

Being made an attractive counter offer is instantly good for your ego, but you must take a number of things into consideration before saying “thanks” or “no thanks”:

  • You have only received a counter offer because you resigned. It is a tactic from your employer and should make you wonder whether you need to resign every time you want to improve your situation. If your employer thought you were truly worthy, why didn’t they improve your situation anyway?
  • Do your reasons for wanting to leave still exist? You may have a number of reasons – salary too low, no promotion in sight, don’t like your boss, work/life balance. You may be offered more money to stay, which can be tempting, but if you still have other issues outstanding, you’ll probably end up leaving anyway.
  • Despite what your employer is saying to you, they will probably now consider you a risk and may make contingency plans without your knowledge. You may not be viewed as a true member of the team.
  • The counter offer could simply be an interim tactic from your employer to bridge a gap whilst they look to replace you.

There have been many studies over the years to measure what happens to employees who accept counter offers. Only 20 out of 100 employees are still with their company after 6 months and only 6 out of those 20 are still employed after 12 months.

2 important points become apparent:

  • Salary was hardly ever the prime motivator for resigning – more money didn’t ultimately change your day to day life on the job
  • Things didn’t take long to return to the way they were before the resignation
  • And if the offer is rejected, you may have burned your bridges, and the company you turned down may not be willing to make you another offer

 Before accepting a counter offer, ask yourself why your employer has made the offer. There is a strong possibility that the cons will outweigh the pros and you will realize that your decision to resign was right after all.

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