Counteroffers: Why Accepting One Is a Bad Career Move
Feeling dissatisfied and overworked in your current job, you look for a new position and soon find one. After you give notice to your current employer, however, your manager surprises you with a generous counteroffer: a higher salary, an extra week of vacation and some gratifying words about your importance to the team.
Should you remain with your current employer or move on to the new organization? While a counteroffer might seem attractive on the surface, accepting one is a bad career move.
Your primary concerns will remain unaddressed. Your manager’s sudden generosity doesn’t change the fact that you’ve felt dissatisfied and overworked at times, for instance. Whatever the negatives about your job were, they won't suddenly disappear because you’ve been offered a raise and temporary vote of confidence.
Your loyalty will be questioned. Even if your manager makes a compelling pitch, chances are he or she will question your loyalty. If your employer has to make cuts down the road, you might be a target because you’ve already shown an interest in departing.
Your relationships with colleagues are likely to become strained, too. Suspecting you stayed only because you received a salary boost, some coworkers will feel they’re being penalized for not threatening to leave. Fair or not, the resulting resentment can undercut your effectiveness on the job.
Your reputation will be damaged. Also at stake if you accept a counteroffer: your reputation. If you decide to accept, you could easily face the worst-case scenario of no longer being trusted by both your current organization and other company. Your actions might be noticed by others in the field as well.
A counteroffer is an attempt by an employer desperate to keep a good worker on board, and you might even find yourself in a worse situation than before. If you’re presented with a counteroffer, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” You can be confident you’re moving on to a new, better opportunity.