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Should you accept a counter offer?

Posted on 6/12/2021 by Danielle Tramontin

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Counter offers are increasingly common in the current market and sure, a pay rise might be flattering enough to make you stay, but have you thought about the other reasons that made you look elsewhere in the first place?

It’s likely you were looking to move on for more reasons than a pay rise, such as feeling undervalued and over worked, no progression opportunities, inflexible working hours, or poor benefits. Some counter offers will also offer improvements on these, but my professional experience shows me that you should think carefully before accepting a counter offer and here are 5 reasons why:

  1. You were only offered a higher salary or additional benefits when you threatened your resignation – do you really want to work for an organisation like this? You should consider why they didn’t feel you were worth this before and if this means you are at risk of not being considered for future promotions or a salary increase at your next review.

  2. Your working conditions won’t necessarily change if you’ve just been offered a higher salary. In fact, your work will be more likely to be scrutinised and expectations of you will be higher to make sure you were worth the pay rise.

  3. You are at risk of your employer questioning your loyalty to the organisation going forward. They could become suspicious that you’re still looking if you take sick days or lots of leave and they may not consider you for future promotions if they don’t think you’ll stay much longer and are still unhappy.

  4. If you are unhappy in your role causing you to go through a whole recruitment process with another employer, it’s likely you’ll remain unhappy staying in your current role even with a higher salary. Multiple sources, state that 80% of people leave their role within 6 months after accepting a counter offer. It’s an even higher percentage between 6- 12 months.

  5. You may have left a bad impression with the potential new employer which could affect any chance of you working there in future. Really consider the new employer and how they would meet your motivations for applying in the first place and what the future might look like there.

If you’re unhappy with your salary or working conditions, then ask for a pay rise or better benefits before you begin the process of looking for a new job. If these career goals can’t be met and there are no improvements, this is the green light to accept a new role and confidently turn down a counter offer should it come your way.

For a further discussion on the above, or advice on job searching or specific vacancies, please contact me at danielle.tramontin@tpp.co.uk or 0207198 6090 or visit our employability hub for the latest career advice.