Counteroffer Pitfalls

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You are feeling unappreciated, underpaid and just not happy at your job.  You brush off your resume, go on a few interviews and land another job.  After telling your boss that you’re turning in your resignation, he surprises you with a counter offer.  What now? Sometimes, if you’re exceptionally valuable, the company will do anything to get you to stay, even if it’s not to your best interest.  They will try to entice you with more money and you have to decide if that’s what you want instead of career development.


First, go over the reasons why you are leaving your present job.  Are the hours too long?  Is there a personality conflict? Is  the commute too harried?  Or are you just plain bored with the work?  Is more money really the issue?  If any of the above questions are the reason you are leaving, more money won’t make them go away.  Focusing on your motivation allows you to evaluate your motives and gives you a reminder of what is really important to your career.  Most people leave a job for a better opportunity rather than a higher salary or more benefits.  If your motivation for a new job is to force a counter offer from your present job, then you should reevaluate your decision regardless.


What’s so bad about a counter offer anyway?  Check out where the offer is coming from.  It could be your next raise in advance.  Also if you feel underappreciated and underpaid, do you want to work for a company who only offers you more money when you threaten to leave?  Also when you submit a letter of resignation and then change your mind, it can be looked upon as an act of disloyalty.  This can impact your relationship with your co-workers who feel that they can’t trust you now.  Sometimes the company makes a counter offer to keep you until they can train someone to replace you, then you’re fired.  Often, even though you’ve stayed, you are then passed over for promotions and your creditability is compromised.  Their way of thinking is that you were going to bail once, why should they promote you and take the chance that you may decide to again? 


All in all, when you make the decision to move on, don’t take it lightly.  Make sure that’s what you want to do.  If that’s your choice, then take the step and move into the future.


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