Congratulations! You’ve accepted a new job, given notice to your manager and are a few days away from starting the next chapter in your career. Then out of knowhere you get called into the VP’s office and she and your direct manager make you what seems to be an honest and sincere counteroffer, and now your starting to feel conflicted. What should you do? DON’T TAKE IT!!! You may not be aware of this but the majority of people who resign get counteroffers. Most of the people who end up taking counteroffers are no longer with that company 6 months later. If you're thinking about accepting a counteroffer please consider these 5 reasons why you shouldn’t take it. It will save you time and potentially save your career.
- The corporate band aid. Counteroffers are made to keep you around long enough to find your replacement. How can they pay you more money now than before? They can’t. Companies have corporate budgets and they stick to them. They may offer you a $5,000 dollar raise but that is only to keep you around while they find your replacement for less salary. Do the math. If they can find your replacement within the next 2 months they really only spent an extra $800 dollars and didn’t lose any downtime.
- Trust factor. Even though you accepted their counteroffer the company will always look at you as a potential flight risk. If they ever need to downsize, your name will likely be on the top of that list.
- Buyer’s remorse. Your manager is likely to feel like he’s already overpaying for your skill set. Because of this you’ve put yourself in an unfair situation come review time. Since your manager probably expects more because of what they are paying you it’s unlikely you will get a fair review or a raise.
- Alienation from co-workers. The news that you were interviewing and unhappy will leak out to your peers and the other managers at your company. Because of this other employees will interact with you differently. Some people may feel if they associate with you the company will think they are looking as well. Plus nobody wants a quitter on their team especially on a mission critical project. You run the risk of not getting picked for any future high profile projects.
- Burning bridges. If you leave your company professionally you won’t burn any bridges and will have great references for the future. However, you will burn many bridges at the new company if you accept that counteroffer. That company spent a lot of time interviewing and then stopped their hiring process when you accepted the job. By accepting a counteroffer this company needs to start a new hiring process which could cost them months in lost productivity. Burning that bridge could cost you in future job searches, which the odds makers say will be in about 6 months.
If you receive a counteroffer your first instinct needs to be to say no thanks. It may seem like the safe route to take it because it is known verses unknown. Think about why you were so excited about the new company. Remember they are ready to give you everything you want in a job opportunity right from the start. Your old company wasn’t able to accommodate you until you told them you were leaving. In almost every case a company isn’t going to change their philosophies just because one employee gave notice.