Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counter Offer

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counter Offer

Congratulations, because if you’re reading this blog then you probably just landed a higher-paying position and potentially, a promotion while receiving some positive affirmation on your value at work from your current employer. Sound familiar?

Putting in your notice takes courage, and now that big step is behind you. And you probably weren’t expecting a counter offer, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.

You should always weigh the pros and cons that come with any career-shaping decision. But as you’ve probably already found out, (thanks to Google), most career experts don’t recommend accepting a counter offer.

Still, a few pros do come to mind:

First, getting a counter offer should be a great reminder of why you snagged another position in the first place. You are great at what you do and your work is important. Take pride in those facts. Second, it’s always great to have options, but some are better than others.

Here are some reasons you may want to turn down that counter offer:

1. Rebuilding trust is almost impossible.

Putting in your notice can put a lot of pressure on your working relationships including the one that can make or break your career—the one with your boss. That relationship can be seriously damaged when you stay in your current role after attempting to resign to take another position. Managers generally understand that people need to grow, but the resignation in the first place speaks volumes about being dissatisfied with some or all aspects of your working environment, (which may or may not include management).

If you stay in your current role then your manager might constantly stress that you’re continuing the search for another role. That concern can block your path for career advancement. And even if you score a salary increase or a better title, you might be worried that your employer is just covering their bases while they search for your replacement. There’s nothing more painful than losing your job right after turning down a new position with another organization.

So if you decide to accept a counter offer, be sure to have a candid dialogue with your manager to make sure you’re both aligned. Thank them for the opportunity to continue growing at the organization and make it clear that you’re invested in rooting your career there.

2. Your personal brand could take a big hit.

Not only will you lose trust at work, but you will burn bridges with the hiring manager and recruiters at your almost employer. They’ve invested time and money in recruiting efforts and advertising, interviewing, and pulling together your job offer and now have to start from square one. Marketing and sales communities are tightly connected—the hiring manager at the employer you’re stiffing may know the next hiring manager you’re trying to impress if you decide to restart your job search in the future.

Your professional reputation is important and turning down an offer to accept a counter offer can put it into major jeopardy.

3. Money doesn’t fix everything.

If you do accept a counter offer and stay at your current company, you probably still won’t get the change you were looking for at another employer. A salary or title change won’t change the company culture, your boss’s management style or any dissatisfaction you have with your teammates or your work.

So unless a salary bump was your only reason for calling it quits in your current role, then you’re probably setting yourself up for more disappointment later. Ask yourself if you really see your challenges at your employer changing.

If you’re dealing with burnout after unreasonable working hours and expectations or a toxic work culture, get out! No salary or title is worth either.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum kit!