How to assess a job counteroffer

After successfully deciding on a change of job a counteroffer is made… a great effort has to be made to carry out a personal evaluation so as not to fall for grand promises. A counteroffer can be a great temptation because its easy (staying in a job you already know, within your comfort zone) and because it flatters our ego (“they value me enough to want me to stay”). But is it really what’s best for you?

What you should ask yourself when you receive a job counteroffer

A job counteroffer could end up being a trap that means getting stuck in a career rut, or an opportunity for a worker who wants a change. It all depends on the real intention of the company making the offer and their ability to listen and renewal.

When the company one is working for makes a counteroffer because the employee wants to move on to another job, the worker must put aside the pride of “feeling valued” and the temptation of the pay rise or improvements to their employment terms and conditions, and they must ask themselves if that is what they really wanted, and not a far-reaching change in their work.

A person usually give up their job because they are no longer satisfied with it: whether it is because they have been doing it for a long time, it’s repetitive, it doesn’t provide any new opportunities, it doesn’t allow them to be independent, it’s a lonely job… or for whatever other reason and, if the counteroffer gives an incentive but does not remedy the reason why the employee wants to leave, nothing will change.

The right question to ask oneself, when a counteroffer is on the table is: Can I grow professionally? Changing jobs purely for a higher salary is not enough. You have to ask yourself which company offers more opportunities to learn, to improve, to develop a promising career… and fight to achieve that, whether that be with your current employer or by moving on to greener pastures.

The employment counteroffer

In many companies, when a worker submits their resignation it is common to make a counteroffer involving a salary raise, greater job flexibility or even a new position. For a company, it’s easier to keep the talent they have than to recruit and train a new professional. It may also be that they don’t want to lose a worker whilst they are in the middle of a project.

On the other hand, receiving a counteroffer from the company that you have been working with can make one feel valued. That feeling of pride can make it difficult to keep a clear view of what is best for us.

Another possibility is that the company loses their trust in the worker who wants to leave and they just want play for time. In this way, making a counteroffer won’t cost them too much and the long process of replacing this employee with an appropriate professional is initiated. A worker who wanted to leave and has accepted the counteroffer may end up without a job after a short time, or worse still, they remain in the company but they lose all the respect they once had as well as the opportunities to take part in good projects, be trained or receive a promotion, among others.

Staying with the company that they are already accustomed to and where they already know all their colleagues (with whom they have possibly forged a friendship), rather than risking the unknown is always a temptation, especially if there are new incentives offered. But what is really important is their welfare, their professional growth or addressing the reason why they were seeking a change. Moreover, changing the type of work, job or company offers a personal experience to grow which is difficult to otherwise achieve.

Some statistics show that it is not usually a good idea to accept a counteroffer because most of the people who do accept, usually end up leaving the company within the same year, either voluntarily or because they are replaced. So, the counteroffer either solves the problem that made them want to leave the company and allows them to nurture their aspirations, or its time to say goodbye.

How can you hand in your notice?

What would be really beneficial would be to convey your dissatisfaction with the job to the company and, together, to analyse how to improve it, proposing new tasks, suggesting changes to do this or making changes to the company’s dynamics in general etc.

If none of this happens and one is forced to reject the counteroffer, this should be communicated in the best way possible. It is important to make a good impression when leaving a company, you never know when you’ll cross paths with the company or one or more of its managers again.


What about you? Would you be willing to change jobs without accepting a counteroffer? Discover how Claire Joster can help you find the job of your dreams.