Counteroffers & the Resignation

When you land the job of your dreams, it seems nothing can go wrong in your world. After all the time of planning, researching and interviewing, you’ve finally got the job you wanted and now it’s time to hand in your resignation to your current employer. However, instead of accepting your resignation at face value your employer turns the tables on you and presents you with a counter offer. What do you do then?

Your current employer might entice you with more money, a new title or something you’ve really wanted. You may feel flattered and dazed. However, you need to know the consequences of accepting a counter offer. By accepting a counter offer, you might be unwittingly damaging to your credibility and your future.

The occasional unscrupulous employee may try to obtain a salary hike by accepting another job and resigning in anticipation of receiving a counter offer. It’s a very risky move to make with your career and is considered downright deceitful.

Sometimes, an employer might be surprised by your sudden resignation and may not be in a position to hire a replacement. A counter offer is made to you in this case. But think about why it may be extended.

  • Wouldn’t they offer to pay you what you are worth, before you threaten to leave?
  • Could this additional pay simply be your next raise given to you early?
  • If word spreads, will your relationships be damaged?
  • During the next round of lay-offs will you be the first to go?
  • Most usually, this delay and counter offer is just extra time to allow your employer to find your replacement?

Your career is secondary to your company’s profits. Even if that’s not the case, with your loyalty forever in question, future promotions will not be extended. When you accept, your employer often uses your acceptance to buy some time for the company to recruit your replacement. This way, your employer has the ball in their court. This happens because when you resign, your employer becomes aware that your company loyalty has been compromised. They know that should a bigger or better opportunity present itself, you will not hesitate to resign again. Your credibility and their loyalty are destroyed, leading to a lack of trust. You might be under the impression that your employer wants you desperately and that’s the reason the offer has been made. The employer uses this pacifier mode to hire your replacement, a candidate who may possess better skills and more experience than you.

Statistics show that nearly four out of five people who accept counter-offers will be let go within the first year – and this time there will be no alternative job offer standing by. Resign with the clear and specific desire to quit completely. Hold steady with your decision to move forward to the opportunity you have pursued. Do not be open to any counter offer or manipulated to do something in your employer’s best interests. Even if your employer does not plan to replace you, your future growth in the company will be compromised. Future salary hikes, responsibilities, promotions and so on might just pass you by while you regret the dream job that you let go of when you accepted your current employer’s counter offer.


by:  Anjela Mangrum, CPC

Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions Inc.  MCS partners with industrial and machining manufacturing businesses to source and secure mid-to-upper level talent for operations, supply chain, and engineering positions.  They work to empower individual job seekers by helping them gain a competitive edge in their job search. For hiring needs contact Anjela at 513.753.3813 x101.

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