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HOW TO ASSESS IF A COUNTER OFFER IS RIGHT FOR YOU

by Callum Jones-Bray

So, you decided to leave your current role? Yes.
 
You took the step to meet a recruiter and they put you forward for the role. Great!
 
You went through two (or more) gruelling rounds of interview and you’ve been offered the role! Fantastic!
 
You’ve accepted the role, given your notice to your manager, and NOW they’ve counter offered you to stay with them. OF COURSE, THEY DID!
 
In what is becoming an increasingly candidate short market, this is not an unusual situation. Managers are fully aware of the potential headaches coming their way if their top talent leaves the team, so often they will scramble to keep you around. 
 
Now, you are unsure about what to do. You either didn’t foresee it, or you thought they wouldn’t bother to make the offer. 
 
No, this is not a blog in which I will throw ludicrous stats with zero credibility at you saying “8 out of 10 people leave within 6 months of accepting the counter” (although there may well be some truth to that!) Instead, what I want to focus on is how to assess any potential counter offers to be completely sure you are making the right choice for you.
 
MOTIVES
 
Firstly, before you even look at brushing the cobwebs off your CV, you have to look at what your initial motives are for leaving your current role. This can be anything: Salary, Location, Development, Culture, Work/Life Balance, Management Style the list can go on and I have heard some great ones over my time! 
Now break your reasons down into two key categories: Tangibles Vs Intangibles. 
 
TANGIBLES
 
Tangibles are the reasons you can see, feel and ultimately can be changed: Salary, Development, Work/Life balance. 
 
For instance, you may feel like the salary you are currently receiving isn’t in line with the market. Do your research and find out. If this is the case, approach your manager and have that conversation. Explain to them that you can get more in the market, but ultimately would like to stay in your current role and would they be open to negotiating your current salary to reflect the market rate. If your current boss truly appreciates and values the work you are doing (and your request is reasonable) they will do all they can to get you the pay increase that you deserve. 
 
If instead, you want to develop your role and pick up more experience and training along the way, and your manager values you as a member of the team and not just as a cog in the machine, they will make it happen for you. 
If your discussions have resulted in your desired outcome, fantastic! One conversation has led to you being given what you needed without having to go through the process of finding a role externally. 
 
If not, if you have stated your case as to what you want and have been ignored, then you are being completely undervalued. It’s time to start looking for the manager who will value you!
 
INTANGIBLES
 
Intangibles are a lot less tricky. If the reason you want to leave is a completely toxic culture or the location of the role, no money in the world will change this for you. Accepting a counter offer could end up with a situation in which you’ve turned down your dream role to stay with your current company on the basis you will get, say a 10% pay increase without addressing the actual issues that made you want to leave in the first place. 
 
Maybe initially that extra 10% on your salary will keep you happy for the next couple of months, but what happens when the novelty wears off? When you realise it is still the same toxic culture or the long trip to work you hated before the pay rise? You will be looking again, and are likely to become one of the alleged “8 out of 10 people who leave within 6 months”.
 
Essentially, if you firstly assess your motivators for leaving and you have tried to change the tangibles to no avail, or you have assessed that the intangibles can’t be changed, then start looking for a new job. 
 
If you are successful in getting offered your dream job, then when the counteroffer is presented it will become completely useless. A new environment is going to give you the new lease on life to continue your career on an upward trajectory!  

Want help with deciding whether to take a counter offer?

Our experienced consultants have seen many professionals come unstuck when trying to resign by being offered a counter offer by their current employer. It’s often good to have an unbiased 3rd party to negotiate the pros & cons of your current situation and assess if the counter offer is right for you.
 
 
What has been your experience, we would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or register to receive monthly via email.

 

 

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