Here’s what your counter-offer really means

March 15, 2019

Ok to be a bit more specific, the counter-offers I’m talking about here are those unbelievable opportunities you get given the second you hand in your notice with your current employer…

You’ve been a loyal employee, dedicated to working for the company for a number of years but something is lacking.

Whether it is the desire for further professional development, a promotion, an increase in pay or the option for flexible working; you’ve had the conversations with your manager and been shut down. It’s been a dead end. So you’ve made the difficult decision to leave the company. But wait…

Rather than accepting your resignation, the company comes back with a counter-offer. They want to keep you. They now want to make it work. They’re taking you seriously and everything you’ve previously asked for is now on offer.

So what happened? 

Let’s break it down:

The company only cared about your best interests once they feared they would lose you. 

It’s no coincidence that the second you threaten to leave the company, that they take your requests seriously. Maybe it’s a case of FOMO. You know, the Fear of Missing Out and losing you to a competitor. When the company was comforted by the fact that you have been a loyal employee for a number of years, they had nothing to fear. They assumed that you would keep on as you are, the way things have always been. Wrong.

They didn’t take your previous request/s seriously

It’s not to say that the only way to get what you want is to go around threatening to quit every job but isn’t it strange that the minute you do, the things you have been longing for become a reality? Perhaps the previous reasons for declining your request/s was genuinely due to budget restrictions, company-wide policies etc. But you have to wonder how the manager has since been able to move mountains to make it work for you now.

If they didn’t take your request seriously, how seriously are they taking you as an employee, your wellbeing, your career progression, your future?

And here’s why you definitely should not accept the counter-offer:

Your value to the company did not just suddenly increase, they just don’t want the headache of the disruption

Although counter-offers feel flattering, don’t be fooled. If they regarded you as a valuable employee in the first place you would never have needed to get to the final point of resigning. It feels great to have a company fighting to keep you but in reality, it’s too late. Resigning is no easy decision and it’s never an easy conversation to have but once you get to that point, you need to maintain your integrity otherwise if they persuade you the other way, your indecisiveness can only appear as non-committal and they’ll always view you as a flight risk.

If cuts are ever to be made, you’ll be cut first

Sounds painful and it will be. That loyalty you think you’ll be given by the company for staying and continuing yours, won’t exist. They may have forgiven but they won’t forget so if you reach the decision to resign from an employer, you need to stick to your guns and commit to resigning.

The reasons you wanted to leave aren’t likely to disappear

Think about it, even if they increase your salary and/or throw in a few extra perks you never had before, it’s unlikely that the real problems that lead you to this point are going to change. If the issues you had previously were with the culture, the company structure, the working environment, difficulties with other members of the company or even managers, how will these things change? I’m guessing they won’t. No matter how many promises are made to you the day you try to hand in your notice.

If you resign and don’t receive a counter-offer, don’t take it personally. Let it be the motivation you need and confirmation you need that the move you are making is the right one.

Looking for more advice on whether or not now is the right time for you to make the move? Get in touch with us!