Much has been written about all the reasons why you should not accept a counter offer from your current employer when you receive a new job offer from another organization. Most advice on this subject comes directly from recruiters and recruiting firms who have a vested interest in you accepting a new offer, which is, of course, their fee.
While I agree there are definite reasons why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer, there are some valid reasons when you should accept a counter offer.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself and why:
1. Why did you decide to look for a new opportunity?
If you were acting out of emotion because something didn’t go the way you planned or you were passed over for a promotion or raise, more than likely you are acting out of emotion, and not thinking the right way. In most cases, decisions based purely on emotion never end well. However, if you are unhappy with your work challenge, the way the company is run, or you have a personality conflict with your direct supervisor, these are issues that won’t be remedied by a counter offer. On the other hand, if you are unhappy with your compensation, work hours, need some flexibility, want to be moved to a location closer to home or moved to a new department, these are issues that can be fixed with a counter offer- provided you handle the process correctly.
Remember that with a new offer of employment from another organization, the stakes have now changed and you are in more of a position of power, but don’t let it go to your head. You must be smart and think strategically.
2. Has anyone else that you’ve known given notice only to accept the counter offer? Are they still there? If so, speak to them about their experiences.
Your co-worker may or may not have negotiated the best deal, so my advice is to ask for a one-year contract along with the counter offer. Your employer may say this is something the company does not do, or give you another excuse but let’s look at the facts. To them, you are not an unknown! You have been working there and they already know that you are capable, perform your work well, and they also know what your attendance and attitude are like. A one-year contract from them is a simple assurance that they truly do want you there and it takes some of the risk of your accepting the counter offer. This is where and how to use your position of strength. Caution – This is not the time to make unreasonable demands.
Remember why you started your job search in the first place Don’t get caught up in the “they don’t want me to leave” or other employees telling you how much “they are going to miss you”. Keep your emotions in check and make the best decision for you.