What to do if you receive a counter offer?

Gurj Sandhu November 14, 20193 mins read

Quitting your current role requires a lot of courage.

Have you been counter-offered?

So you are about to hand in that resignation letter, when suddenly your manager makes you a counter offer, promising to increase your salary in a counter offer, it’s not surprising that it can be tempting to stick around.

However, once you’ve shown your willingness to move on, going back on that choice may be one of the worst career decisions that you make. Usually, a counter-offer provides more benefits to the business than the employee.

A higher salary can always be appealing and makes it tempting to stay at your current company, however, the fundamentals of ‘why’ you were looking for a new role rarely change meaning 70 to 80 percent of people who accept counteroffers either leave or are let go within a year.

Even though a counter-offer can be very flattering and it may seem that your business will finally make an effort to make you feel valued, this is usually not the case. Often, counter-offers are used as a retention tool, perhaps because a major project is coming up or because several other employees have recently left. 

Not going to take the counter offer?

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Money Won’t Fix the Intangibles


Unless money was your only reason to leave the business, there's a strong possibility that whatever made you consider another opportunity in the first place, won't just disappear because you've been able to secure another role. 

You should be able to have a constructive and open conversation about your career development and having to demonstrate yourself by looking for competitive offers only creates distrust on both parties and unfortunately this damage can be irreparable.

Damaged Relationships with Peers

Staying with your current employer for a higher salary (find out what salary you should be on) or better title is not always a good idea as the fact that you intended to leave shows dissatisfaction with at least some portion of your current role. If you stay, most likely your employer will be concerned that you will keep looking or at least tempted to look for another job, which could affect your career growth for the remainder of your time with the organisation. 

Your Personal Reputation

Besides the credibility and relationship with your manager, after accepting a counteroffer, it could also harm your reputation with your peers. Other loyal colleagues may wonder if you are a team player and prevent pulling you into projects or trusting you with delicate information

It's not just about evaluating a counteroffers’ future pitfalls, but about considering the importance of new possibilities. 

  • Will staying at your present business offer you the same long-term growth as moving to a new position? 
  • With the job offer and salary, your prospective employer has likely shown that you are valuable to them – could they offer opportunities and experiences your current employer cannot?
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