Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counter Offer

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Every now and then we have a developer who accepts a counter offer. It’s definitely not the norm, but it happens. It’s also easy to understand why. The problem is this; while money plays a very big role in the job selection process, it’s not always all about the randellas. No matter how tempting; here are more than a few reasons why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer.

Why Employers Counter Offer

So you’ve been offered an awesome position in an incredible company. You’re excited and ready to take on new challenges. It’s all great until you tell your boss you’re leaving. Said boss person gives you a counter offer, some flattery and a few other good reasons to stay. Before you get too excited thinking how irreplaceable you are; look at the facts. Whether you are a star employee or not you are an asset to the company. The cost, time and effort required to replace you, often outweigh the cost of convincing you to stay. Not to say you aren’t an awesome developer but it certainly is the obvious solution for an employer. Hiring a recruiter, interviewing candidates and potentially having your team understaffed is stressful for anyone.

Why Employees Accept Counter Offers

Starting a new job can be pretty scary to say the least. You’ll face many new challenges, you have to learn new procedures, make new friends and impress your new boss. It’s natural to get cold feet and when your current boss offers you an easier way, it might even be short sighted to not give it a thought. The problem is this, staying where it’s safe may not be the best thing for your career either.

Start With Diplomacy

Whichever way you look at it, any big career decision arrives wrapped in risk with strings attached. There’s no way that accepting a counter offer is less risky than starting a new job. Before you even start looking for a new job however, you need to approach your employer and discuss whatever it is which is making you unhappy.

Things Could Have Been Different

Whether the problem is money, working conditions, perks or career growth, its highly unlikely that things will change with the simple wave of a counter offer. If your boss can beef up your salary now, why couldn’t they do that before? If your boss is prepared to offer better working conditions, why couldn’t they do that before? If you have brought up these issues before but nothing changed, what does that say about your relationship with your boss? Those sound like tough questions especially if you actually like your boss. Still, you have to be honest with yourself. A counter offer is often simply too little too late.

Is the Relationship Damaged?

Whether you are prepared to admit it or not, your boss now knows that you are less loyal that he or she has previously hoped. In addition, can you trust a boss who responds solely to drastic measures? It’s seldom easy to maintain an open and honest relationship with a superior while keeping things professional. Of course, that’s always first prize though. The problem is sometimes when a relationship is damaged, there’s no turning back, no matter how persuasive your boss may be and no matter how great the counter offer.

There’s No Guaranteed Job Security

Accepting a counter offer is a rarely a long term solution to the actual problem. It merely delays the inevitable. A counter offer doesn’t mean that your boss is finally trying to meet your needs but rather meeting their own needs by avoiding the inconvenience of you leaving before they have a contingency plan. You have shown your hand and you have now become expendable. The chances are; if things go wrong you will be first out the door.

Lost Opportunities

Even though changing jobs is one of the most stressful things a person can go through, it is sometimes necessary in order to grow. Possibly the most important reason why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer is that you will miss out on an opportunity which your current employer is unable to offer you. That’s not to say that the grass is always greener on the other side but you wouldn’t be looking over the wall if you were 100% happy in the first place.

Whatever your reason for embarking on a job search, those reasons are unlikely to be solved by just money; which is often all your employer is able to offer. If they do put additional benefits on the table such as flexi hours and more responsibility, don’t think it doesn’t come at a cost. Sometimes its better to walk away with your reputation, integrity and self-confidence intact. If you’re ready to do that, give us a call.


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