Figures from the National Employment Association reveal that 80% of those who accept counteroffers end up leaving within the next 6 months – either because they accepted another offer or were let go. Accepting a counteroffer may sound attractive at the time it is presented. More money in a role you’re already comfortable in? What could be so bad about that?
In the moment, it’s natural to be ecstatic about the digits added onto your salary, causing you to second guess your decision to leave. But before you belt out that you accept their counteroffer, remember the reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place. Review these few pointers as to why you should never take the counteroffer.
1. Your disloyalty won’t be forgotten.
If you accept the counteroffer and stay, chances are you will no longer be in the inner circle at work. A lot of trust is lost with management, and co-workers, that is nearly impossible to earn back. You will always be remembered as disloyal, decreasing your future chances of a promotion. If the company didn’t immediately start looking to replace you with a more dependable candidate, you could be the first to go if cuts need to be made down the line since you once proved to be untrustworthy.
2. More money doesn’t make other issues disappear.
Of course, everyone always wants to be making more money. However, there are usually deeper issues that cause an employee to start their job search. Whether they are overworked, see problems with upper management, or simply see no way to advance their career within the organization, a salary increase or better benefits will not make these problems disappear. When presented with a counteroffer, think of all of the problems that will still exist the moment you sit back down at your desk.
3. The offer isn’t about you, it’s about them.
The counteroffer barely counts as a raise or promotion, as it took a letter of resignation to receive it. Finding new, talented employees is an incredibly challenging and expensive task. You aren’t being offered more money because the company thinks you’ve earned it, but because it’s an inconvenience for them if you leave. Is this really the type of company you want to stay at?
If you feel underpaid or unappreciated in your current role, talk to your employer first before you decide to seek other opportunities. Give your employer the chance to correct what is making you unhappy. If you cannot come to an agreement before you start job searching, you can feel confident that you are making the right choice moving on if a counteroffer were to arise in the future.
Accepting a counteroffer is almost always a mistake. Never second guess your decision to take on a new challenge. Leave on good terms, remembering not to burn any bridges along the way.