Counter Offer: How Can You Lose?
Does a counter offer seem like the best of both worlds? Two employers fighting over you...how can you lose? Whichever way you go, you're going to make more money. Ah...the good life. Or is it?
Let's take a closer look at the competing forces inherent in a counter offer.
To start, consider your reasons for looking for a new opportunity in the first place. Do any of these fit?
You were enticed into looking for another position for a reason. You were not necessarily running from your current situation. Instead, you were drawn to something better. Something triggered a desire to look elsewhere. This motivation is usually driven by upward career mobility, and the money that comes with it.
Receiving a Counter Offer
By definition, a counter offer means that you've accepted another position, or at a minimum, have an offer in hand.
You tell your boss you're leaving, and suddenly, you are the most valued employee in the organization. The boss asks you for a few days to work something out. He's now interested in figuring out how to give you more responsibility, more money, a bigger office...whatever.
You're flattered by all of the attention. Chances are you're not only talking to your boss, but to his boss as well. Everyone is telling you how critical you are to the organization, and how they are going to work to make things right for you.
Here it comes.
Your boss is prepared to match the money, the title, and give you more responsibility. It's so much easier to stay. You're a known commodity here. No hard work to prove yourself in a new environment. No need to stretch.
What do you do? Should you take it? Or should you decline?
I know what I would do. It's what I advise all of my candidates to do when confronted with this situation. Be gracious, but turn it down. In fact, you should stop this conversation before it even gets started.
There are a couple of key questions to ask yourself:
Better yet, ask your boss.
A counter offer will undoubtedly be tempting. Think about what happens if you accept:
There's some research around that suggests that most people who accept a counter offer end up leaving anyway within 6 months.
Don't become a statistic. Accept the offer from your new employer. You'll be doing your career a favor.
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