Monday, March 17, 2014

Counter Offers - To Accept or Not To Accept

So you're out seeking another job - it could be for a variety of reasons or only one, but you've found a good opportunity, received an offer for employment and presented your letter of resignation to your current employer only to have them provide a counter offer - now what?  Of course the decision will rely on what the counter offer involves and what issues had started you searching for new employment in the first place.

If you were making a comfortable income and enjoyed your previous position but your manager was an absolute nightmare, likely no counter offer in the world is going to change your mind, but what if the reasons you were leaving had to do with unsatisfactory income or lack of promotion or something along those lines?   Studies have shown that the average employee stays with his employer less than a year after accepting a counter offer - regardless of the details in the counter offer.  Lets face it, if you're unhappy with your current employer things aren't likely to do a complete turn around regardless of a counter offer.

If you are considering seeking a new position, take time to really evaluate why you want to leave your current role.  Don't make rash decisions. 
* If you're really angry about a decision your manager has made, wait a week or two to determine if it was really "that big of a deal" before you start shooting your resume out to the job boards. 
* If you feel that your salary is below what you should be earning, consult websites like to determine if you are in a normal range for your profession, experience and geographical location before applying elsewhere.
* If you feel like you deserve a promotion or want additional responsibility, sit down with your managers and discuss your desires.  Ask them if they see any opportunity for growth in your future and express your anticipated career path before making the decision to leave.

If you have come to the conclusion that the only good plan is an exit plan, be prepared for your employer to potentially dismiss (fire) you OR present a counter offer when they find out you're looking.  If you are open to a counter offer from your current employer - do NOT present them with your resignation until you have an offer letter in hand from your new potential employer and do NOT accept the new offer until you've determined if your current company is going to present you with a counter that is worth staying for.  It is acceptable to ask a potential employer for 48 hrs to consider their offer before you make your decision.

Here are a few additional thoughts to consider when deciding to accept or decline a counter offer from your current employer**:

* Why did you have to threaten to resign before your company recognized your hard work or the fact that you were being underpaid?
* Will your company immediately start looking for someone to replace you at a lower salary?
* How likely will your current employer be to now consistently question your loyalty?
* If layoffs come down the road, who do you think will be at the top of the list?
* If your co-workers find out about your resignation and counter - how will they feel?

Clearly these steps pertain to someone that is in a salaried - permanent role.  For thoughts to consider before leaving a contract/engagement early - keep an eye out for my next post for contractors on this subject.

*Copyright - Expressed permission must be granted by the blog owner to recreate, copy or use this material* - but please feel free to share the link if you enjoyed the content!*
**Special thanks to Kim Cappellucci for providing her professional opinions!