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Navigating the counter offer conundrum as an employee

Embarking on a job search can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You’ve seen a job description that rouses interest and tailored your CV to fit the spec.  You have also spent countless hours prepping for two, three or sometimes even four interviews and amazingly you get that all important job offer! You feel excited and flattered, but what happens when a counter offer enters the picture?

Around 50% of employers make a counter offer each time an employee hands in their resignation. Interestingly, 80% of those that accept a counter offer leave within 6 months and 90% leave within a year.  

Handling counter offers requires careful consideration and a strategic approach. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the nuances of dealing with counter offers and provide insights on how candidates can navigate this delicate situation.

  1. Reflect on your Decision to Resign

Before responding to a counter offer, take a moment to reflect on your initial decision to seek a new role. Consider the reasons WHY you decided to leave in the first place. Is it solely about compensation, or are there deeper issues around job satisfaction, career growth or work life balance? This introspection will help you make a well-informed decision.

  1. Evaluate the Counter Offer

Carefully analyse the counter offer presented by your current employer. Question why your employer didn’t offer you an increase beforehand.  While a salary increase may be tempting, its essential to look beyond the money. Think about career progression opportunities, job responsibilities and overall satisfaction. Always ensure that the counteroffer addresses the key reasons you sought a new position in the first place.

  1. Communicate openly with the New Employer

If you’ve already accepted an offer with a new employer, it’s crucial to communicate openly with them about the counter offer. Be transparent about the situation and explain the factors influencing your decision. Honesty is key to maintaining a positive professional relationship, even if you ultimately choose to stay with your current employer.

  1. Professionalism in Declining or Accepting Counter Offers

Regardless of your decision, maintain professionalism in your communication. If you decide to decline the counter offer, express your gratitude for the opportunity and be tactful in explaining your reasons for moving forward with the new role. On the other hand, if you accept the counter offer, clearly communicate your decision to the new employer, expressing your appreciation for their understanding.

  1. Consider Long-Term Implications

69% of employers believe that accepting a counter-offer negatively impacts long-term job satisfaction” and “69% perceiving decreased work commitment” (Gitnux Market Data: 2023).

When contemplating a counter offer, consider the potential long-term implications of your decision. Will the improved terms address your concerns in the long run, or is it a short-term solution? Assess whether the counter offer aligns with your career goals and aspirations.

Key Takeaway

Handling a counter offer is a delicate process that requires careful consideration of your professional goals and priorities. By reflecting on your motivations, evaluating the counter offer objectively, and maintaining open and honest communication with both current and prospective employers, you can navigate this situation with professionalism and integrity.

Remember, the key is to make a decision that aligns with your long-term career objectives and personal fulfilment.

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