The Counter Offer: The Perils Of Accepting One

Carl Mueller

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Accepting a counter offer is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make during your career.

To be clear, a counter offer is when you try to resign from your current employer after accepting another job elsewhere and your current employer tries to keep you by offering you (typically) more money, a better job, more benefits, more vacation, etc.

In other words, they try to bribe you to stay.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you were worth more money, deserved a better job, deserved more benefits or deserved more vacation, why did you need to resign before you employer realized you deserved it?

Hmmmm. . .

To accept a counter offer says several things:

It says that you weren’t really looking for a job. You were simply looking for a raise because that’s basically what a counter offer is.

Accepting a counter offer says that you can be bought. If you accept one, you have shown that you can be bought. It’s just a matter of how much it’s going to cost your employer.

Accepting a counter offer tells your current employer that you were looking for a new job so chances are if you were looking before, you will look again once a better job opportunity surfaces elsewhere.

Accepting a counter offer shows that you are not a loyal person. It shows your current employer that you will renege on a deal in exchange for more money. Not exactly a trait employers are looking for in their employees…

Studies have shown that people who accept a counter offer:

  • Typically end up leaving the company anyways within 6 months of accepting a counter offer.
  • Burn their bridges with both their employer and with the company they accepted the new job with and then turned down.
  • Could end up getting fired by their employer once the employer finds someone suitable to replace them. In other words, your employer only gave you a counter offer to keep you in place until they found someone suitable to replace you!
  • Burn their bridges with the recruiter they used to find the position, if they were using one.

Recruiters HATE when a person accepts a new job with their client…and then change their mind and accept a counter offer.

When a recruiter has to go to their client and let them know that the new employee they hired has changed their mind and that their search for a new employee has to start over again, you have pretty much guaranteed this recruiter will not work with you again.

Especially if the recruiter loses this client as a result of you accepting a counter offer. Think about it: if the employer turned down a few other good candidates to offer you the job, they will be really angry about being spurned by you.

If you accept a counter offer, I wouldn’t expect to hear from the recruiter OR the company you turned down, ever again!

Before you accept a counter offer, take a step back and think things through completely.

Look at the job offer letter you have received and ensure it contains everything you were told it would contain.

While considering the job offer letter and its contents, remind yourself why you decided to look for a new job (and accept it) in the first place.

How does accepting a counter offer change the reasons you decided to look for a new job?

Again, if you were worth the extra perks your current employer is offering you in the form of a counter offer, why did they wait until you told them you were leaving to offer it to you?

It doesn’t really make sense when you think about it, does it?

Accepting a counter offer might look good in the short term, but it probably won’t be long before you find yourself again looking for a new job if you choose to accept it.

Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping job searchers avoid common job search mistakes that cost them jobs.

Visit Carl's website to find your dream career:

Ezine editors/Webmasters: Please feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your website. Please don’t change any of the content and please ensure that you include the above bio that shows my website URL. If you would like me to address any specific career topics in future articles, please let me know.


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