Let’s face it — receiving a counter offer can be very flattering. You gave your employer two weeks’ notice and in return, he offered you a raise, a promotion, or maybe even both. While being wanted is nice, remember, you actually had to quit your job to be appreciated. When put that way it certainly doesn’t seem as satisfying, now does it?
Accepting a counter offer is never a good idea, regardless of the conditions. You embarked on a search for a new job because you were unhappy in your current position, then you were hired for a new one that you’re really excited about. Instead of wasting your time debating on keeping your old job, get out and celebrate your new one!
Reasons Not to Accept a Counter Offer:
- The Motivation: While a counteroffer may initially come across like your employer cares about you and wants to look out for you, that’s not the real reason it happens. When a good employee resigns, what really goes through the boss’ mind is, “oh no, I just lost a good person, so my job just became more difficult.” Worst case, your boss is thinking, “Maybe I can keep him on until I find someone to replace him.” Your boss is simply looking out for how your loss will impact him and the company, not you. He probably doesn’t want to endure the hassle of finding your replacement or dealing with your work in the interim, but that’s his problem, not yours. Focus on a smooth and professional transition out of the company once you have given notice; your professional reputation will remain intact and your company will survive without you.
- Comfort: While it’s nice to be comfortable in your job, knowing exactly what to do and having a lot of friends in the office, that’s certainly not a good reason to stay there. Instead of becoming nostalgic about your old job, remember that there were legitimate reasons that you began looking for new positions and challenges in the first place. Your true friends will remain your friends even after you are gone, and you will cultivate new friendships in your new role as well.
- Career Growth: It’s important take on new roles and responsibilities to expand your career. If your current position was a place where you felt you were able to grow and be provided with opportunities to broaden your experience, you wouldn’t have ever started looking for a new job. Embrace the new employer who is recognizing your potential instead of staying with the employer that was not providing you growth opportunities.
If you accept a counteroffer, odds are you will not be happy and your relationships will be altered, as your colleagues know you are someone who was looking to leave the organization. If you flirted with the idea of leaving for another organization, the trust in your current relationships has weakened. Stay confident in your original decision to make a change, look out for your career, and take advantage of the new opportunity you’ve been awarded. If you keep your current position, you’ll only find yourself with regrets in a few months when you’re stuck in the same career slump, pondering what would have happened if you had followed through on your new opportunity.
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