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9th October 2019

Handling counter offers

You have successfully created interest from an employer with your CV, impressed them during interviews and negotiated a salary and benefits package that reflects your capabilities. You have received written confirmation of a job offer and have handed in your letter of resignation to your current employer.

So how do you prepare for the possibility that your resignation might be met with a counter offer from your employer who doesn’t want to lose the skills and experience you have brought to your existing role?

When handing in your resignation, consider what will go through the mind of your Manager. If they see your resignation as a dramatic inconvenience to them, the likelihood of them making a counter offer will undoubtedly increase.

If you have formed emotional attachments with current work colleagues, it can be even more difficult to make the move to another company and might increase the appeal of accepting a counter offer. However, it is important to remember that moving rarely requires ceasing all contact with the people you have formed friendships with. When considering a counter offer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I need to look to another employer in order to satisfy my career progression?
  • Is an increase in salary really enough in the long term or do I need a new challenge?
  • Will my resignation be interpreted as disloyal if I decide to stay?
  • Is the counter offer a way for my employer to buy some time whilst they find another solution?
  • Does the counter offer eliminate my original reasons for wanting to leave?

Remember why your new position appealed initially and think about the opportunity you will be missing by accepting a counter offer. It might be that the position is just better for you – whether it is more pay, greater opportunities, increased training, a shorter commute, flexible working, international travel, project diversity, pensions, healthcare or other such incentives, there are many reasons that could prompt a move but the importance of each depends on you as an individual.