You haven’t been happy with your job. You start job searching just to “see what’s out there” and snag yourself a great job offer. But wait! Your current employer doesn’t want to see you go and makes a counteroffer.
What do you do?
It can be easy to talk yourself into staying. It’s less disruptive, and what if the outside offer was just the wakeup call your employer needed to treat you better? Truth be told, the statistics aren’t optimistic. For employees who accept counteroffers to stay at their jobs, less than 10% remain on board just one year later. The reasons are many, but they mostly center around a lack of commitment from either the employee or their employer. Take a deeper look from an employer’s perspective here.
Before requesting or accepting a counteroffer, ask yourself:
- Is it really just about the money? Money is rarely the sole reason people leave their jobs. Take a good, hard look beyond compensation at why you’re considering a new job. Is it due to career advancement, company culture, work/life balance, or job duties that are better aligned with your interests? A counteroffer may distract you from those issues for a while, but it won’t fix them.
- Where will I be happier? Lisa Quast, author of Your Career, Your Way!, explains that if the issues listed above were fixable, you would have raised your hand and at least attempted to fix them already. Once you secure a new job and face a counteroffer situation, Quast says, you’re likely facing more deal-breaker issues. These can include that unidentifiable “sick feeling” you get when you get up to go to work in the morning. Ask yourself if your happiness will be at risk if you stay. Money can’t buy happiness, after all.
- Will I compromise my relationship with my current employer? Employees who accept counteroffers aren’t the only ones who break off ties soon after. It’s all too common for an employee to be fired or laid off within months of renegotiating due to another offer. Why? Some employers will scramble in the moment to keep you on longer, but soon decide the salary bump isn’t sustainable or your loyalty is waning anyway. Ask yourself whether your employer’s counteroffer is sincere or if the offer seems to only be a quick-fix, temporary solution to a deeper problem.
The odds aren’t in favor of accepting counteroffers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t succeed. Don’t be distracted by the money. Instead, be thoughtful and considerate about where your best fit resides.