counter offer

What to do if you get a counter offer

So you’ve gone out and found yourself an amazing new job. You hand in your notice to your current employer and get ready to say your goodbyes. But what happens if they turn around and make a counter offer?

It isn’t unusual for companies to try and persuade their employees not to leave. After all, the time and cost of hiring and training a brand new team member is something that most organisations will want to avoid.

As such, when you tell your boss that you’re leaving, they may ask whether there’s anything they can do to make you stay. That might include a pay rise, or a promise of a promotion. If this was your aim, that’s great. If not, then it’s important to remember your reasons for leaving in the first place.

With this in mind, in this article we explain what you should do if you get a counter offer, offering helpful tips to make the process a little less stressful.

Take your time

Firstly, it’s important to remember to take your time. You don’t want to rush into making any rash decisions and you certainly don’t want to burn any bridges with either parties.

When you hand in your notice, your manager may want to go away and discuss potential options with their own boss. Ultimately, they’ll need to agree on a realistic, yet persuasive package, before they confirm their counter offer with you.

That being said, don’t be offended if they don’t make a counter offer. It might be that they already feel you’ve checked out. Alternatively, they may not be able to match what your new job is promising.

When they do come back to you with a counter offer, remember that you don’t need to respond straight away. Unless of course you know that you definitely don’t want to accept it. Buy yourself at least a couple of days so you can consider your options.

Keep communicating

If you do want to take some time to assess what’s on the table, make sure you keep communicating with your current boss and your potential new employer. After all, you’ll want to maintain a positive relationship with both companies.

It’s fine to let your new employer know that your existing employer is asking you to stay. This happens in most businesses, so they’ll probably expect it to happen.

If possible, set a timescale by which you’ll reach your decision by and communicate it with both parties. If there’s any delays on either end, be sure to keep updating them on the situation.

Weigh up your options

There’s a range of points to consider when you get a counter offer. If you do feel as if you don’t know what to do, it’s important to weigh up your options.

Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, write down the pros and cons of your new job and on the other side, do the same for your current position.

Pros and cons may include aspects such as pay, opportunities for progression, daily tasks, team members, location, commuting costs and so on.

Putting your thoughts down in black and white can make it easier to reach a decision. And, while it can be tempting to ask your friends and family for their thoughts, it’s important to remember that this is your life and your job, not theirs.

Remember your reasons for leaving

While it can be extremely flattering when your employer presents you with an amazing counter offer, it’s important to remember your reasons for leaving in the first place.

What made you apply for a job somewhere else? How excited were you when they offered you the position? Were you looking for a more positive work environment?

Then, consider whether what your current employer is offering will actually make you happy. For example, if you’re leaving because you’re physically exhausted from a long commute, is sacrificing your health really worth it for a few extra quid in the bank?

If you don’t want to accept the counter offer

While it might be tempting to take your employer up on their offer, don’t feel too bad if you don’t want to accept the counter offer. It’s your career at the end of the day and it’s down to you to know what’s going to be the right decision.

Make sure you thank them for making a counter offer. After all, they’ve clearly shown that they’re willing to invest in you as an employee. Plus, you may need to use them as a reference for your next position.

Making your decision

If you’re presented with a counter offer, you may experience a range of emotions. From confusion and stress, to happiness that your employer clearly values you. But, it’s important to try and keep a clear head so you can reach a decision that’s right for you.

Whether you accept it or not, make sure you’re gracious to both your current and potential employer. So, take the necessary time to make your choice and remember that you’re actually in a really positive position!

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