Beware: The Counteroffer


You have just finished a lengthy interview process with your potential, new employer, and you got offered the job! Congrats! You are excited about the new opportunity and are looking forward to a much-needed change. Now the time comes to put in your notice. So, how much time is appropriate? 2, 3, 4 weeks? The amount of notice given is generally dictated by your level in the company. The higher up you are, the longer that notice might be. You set up a meeting with your current boss to give your notice, and you think “this will be easy.” You know it’s time for a change, and you’ve found a way out. You walk into the meeting to hand in your resignation letter and boom — your boss hits you with a counteroffer. Now you are in a predicament — should you stay, or should you go? Is money really the driving factor for you making a move? Will the extra money truly make you happy? What do you tell the company that you just verbally accepted an offer with? What do you do?

Sometimes, a counteroffer is a right move in your career, but most of the time, it is career suicide. In my experience, dealing with thousands of candidates over the years and countless counteroffers, 95% of the time, these do not work out. Most of the time, the counteroffer is a band-aid for your current employer. The increase in salary is more than likely cheaper than finding your replacement through an exhaustive search, training that person, and expecting them to perform at the level you were at immediately.

So, what’s wrong with accepting a counteroffer?

Everyone likes more money, right? You’ve worked hard, and you deserve that raise. But, why did you have to threaten resignation for your employer to acknowledge that? You may find yourself happy with the raise and the familiarity of staying with the same company, but you may find yourself out of a job sooner than you think. Your current employer now knows that you have been looking for a new career, and, in turn, they may start to look for your replacement even after you have accepted the counteroffer.

Here are some things to consider: Is money really the reason that you began looking for a new job in the first place? Are there other factors involved, such as culture, workload, hours, or commute, that are more of a driving factor? What happens if you turn down the counteroffer, and your new job isn’t what you thought it would be? What if it is worse? You have options, and you are in the driver’s seat. I recommend not doing anything on the spot. Consult with your spouse, your family, your mentors, or anyone else who is influential in your life. Take some time to think things over and make the best decision for you, your family, and your career. But whatever you do, beware of the counteroffer!

Pull up to the counter: Goodwin Recruiting has a whole lot to offer!

Looking to make a career change? With over 20 years in the recruiting business and recognized as one of Forbes America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2020, Goodwin Recruiting is ready to help! Check out our job board for exciting, new opportunities from coast to coast across the US!