How to approach a counter offer

November 11, 2023

What should you do if you’re counteroffered?

Remind yourself what prompted your job search in the first place. Try writing down your motivations for moving and revisit them throughout the process. Some shortcomings might be improved by sitting tight and a counteroffer can resolve issues, but you should be open with your current employer. 

Don’t stay in a role because it’s comfortable and familiar. Your potential employer or new employer has invested a lot of time and effort into getting you on board and will want you to be a successful addition to their team. 

Finally, consider why this better offer is being given to you only when you’re about to leave. If you’re a valued employee, why was a higher salary, more perks, better client portfolio or working arrangement not offered to you sooner? 

It’s professional courtesy to be transparent with your current employer and hear what they have to say, but bear in mind you are forcing their hand. If you stay as a result of a buy back, you will be on the back foot when it comes to any future pay and promotion negotiations. 

It can also lead to an uncomfortable situation if an employer feels you’ve engineered an ultimatum and salary negotiation because you know the market is buoyant. The majority of people who are bought back start looking for a role again within a year as many knee-jerk promises don’t come to fruition and their reasons for leaving haven’t gone away. 

In all, counteroffers are flattering and might turn out to be the right thing for you and your employer, but it’s essential to remember why you started looking elsewhere. If the counteroffer doesn’t deliver what you’re looking for, don’t be swayed! 

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