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Counter Offers

Counter Offers

Counter offers are common…

Whilst this may feel hugely flattering, please bear in mind that the vast majority of employers issue counter offers as a matter of course; it’s the easiest thing for them to do.

Counter Offers:

• Employers are caught off guard and don’t want to lose a good employee and they know the “hot buttons” of their employee
• Employers don’t appreciate the value of their employees until they threaten to leave
• The Employer attempted to find a replacement (or finding one will be very difficult) and was not successful
• The Employer hired a replacement who is not working out
• Employers are back in “control” when they extend a counter offer

It is highly likely that on informing your employer of the decision to move on that you will receive a counter offer. This will likely take the form of:

• Increased pay
• Advancement
• Guilt trips
• Bad mouthing the company where you interviewed or the new job
• A combination of the above

Your boss knows how to push your buttons…

If you hear any of the following, please ask yourself whose interest your current employer is acting in:

• You're too valuable; we need you
• You can't desert the team/your friends and leave them hanging
• We haven’t given you the recognition you deserve, please give us another chance
• We were just about to give you a promotion/wage rise
• What did they offer, why are you leaving, and what can we give you to make you stay?
• Why would you want to work for that company?
• The MD wants to meet with you before you make your final decision

It’s quite clear that your interests are a secondary consideration here.

Counter offers, some facts:

If you accept a counter offer, you are one of the 22% of the people that accept counter offers.

You are also part of the 67% of people that will be looking for a new job (anyway) within the next 6 months.

You are part of the 93% of people that will have left their current employer within 18 months.

Nobody likes change

Career changes are tough enough as it is, and anxieties about leaving a comfortable job, friends and location and having to re-prove yourself again in an unknown opportunity can cloud the best of logic. Unfortunately, bosses are aware of this too, which is why they know there’s a chance they can keep you around if they press the right buttons.

How to avoid counter-offers…

First, don't allow a counter-offer discussion to occur. Leaving the door open for discussion induces the company to invest time and resources into enticing you to stay. This can make you feel guilty, which makes it more difficult to stick to your decision to leave.

Submit a courteous, positive and final resignation letter that leaves no room for discussion. By behaving honourably, you may have the option of re-employment with the company or to join a former boss elsewhere later on.


If you’re tempted to resign, or even just threaten to, with the singular aim of soliciting an improved offer from your current employer, there are far more effective ways of achieving this objective and whatever ‘gains’ you make in the short term will be far outweighed by the losses you’ll endure further down the line.

Assuming that you’re resigning with the true intention of accepting another position, then accepting a counter-offer will most likely have one outcome. There are no winners in this situation, only losers, and the biggest loser will almost certainly be you. If the urge to accept a counter-offer hits you, just keep on clearing out your desk as you count your blessings.

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