Accepting a Counter-Offer: Things to Consider
Choosing to move on from a company is a big change and in many cases a premeditated decision that is the product of lengthy consideration. The process of finding new employment can be a time consuming one, to say the least, but after the job interview has been completed and a new position has been offered, it is not uncommon for current employers to bring forth counter-offers in hopes of retaining employees. Deciding whether to stay or go can and will be a challenge in and of itself, but before making any decisions to accept what may seem like a generous counter-offer, you should consider the following:
Salary is only one aspect of compensation: The initial gleam of a counter-offer could wear off quickly when you realize that your salary is not the lone factor of your total compensation. In many cases, you will find that your bonuses will gradually decrease and the rate at which you receive increases will likely slow down. As an employee, you must recognize that those who under or marginally pay their employees are not going to change overnight.
One year from now you will be gone: When considering accepting a counter-offer, it is important to remember why you chose to move forward with a job interview elsewhere. If you were dissatisfied before, what could a counter-offer really change? In fact, between 80 and 90% of all employees that accept a counter-offer end up vacating the position within one year.
The damage is done: By revealing to your superior that you sought out a job interview elsewhere and that you are considering a position with another company, you have in many ways alienated yourself and damaged the professional relationship. Even if you stay, the damage is done and professional trust is broken.
A replacement may be on the way: While this may be a rarity, it is possible that your boss or manager has offered you a generous counter-offer in hopes of holding you on retainer while they search for your replacement and set up a job interview with a new potential employee.
As you can imagine, these situations are not applicable in every case but are common occurrences when dealing with the potential acceptance of a counter-offer in the workplace. Keep this in mind as you consider your options and only move forward when you have a complete understanding of what will be the most positive professional decision for you as an individual.