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– How to handle counter offers
After great thought and mental anguish, after pondering the pros and cons, you have made up your mind. You began a job search in earnest or listened to opportunities that you believed represented a better situation than you currently have. You are going to resign but are surprised and maybe even quite flattered to be given a counter offer by your current employer. Your current employer may offer better pay, better working conditions, better benefits and a sincere apology for not valuing you more highly when faced with the reality of losing you. BEWARE!! CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES, EFFECTS OF ACCEPTING A COUNTER OFFER AND RESCINDING YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE NEW JOB.
Breaking up is really, really hard to do! Resigning from a job is probably the closest thing we will ever do as grownups that repeats high school. Do you remember breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend when you were young? Have you ever heard a significant other say, “Please don’t leave me. I will change.” Most of us learned that the only problem is that nothing every changed for long. Well, history repeats itself!
First, what will be the effects of deciding to stay with your current employer? You might initially feel relief that you do not have to leave your comfort zone. You might feel that you are finally truly appreciated. AGAIN BEWARE!! It’s all just business baby. Your current boss will now perceive you differently. She/he may privately resent you and question your loyalty. The counter offer may just be the way the boss buys some very valuable time to find a more loyal, qualified candidate. There is a huge likelihood that your boss will start looking for your replacement at a cheaper salary and just use you to bide the time until that replacement is found.
There are other situations which may arise after you have accepted the counter offer. You may find yourself under suspicion of interviewing for another job whenever you need to take time off. When there is time for promotions, you may not be considered because you almost left the company. Sadly, management often rewards blind loyalty. You may find yourself first on the list for layoffs and reductions in force.
Statistics show that 75 – 90% of those who accept counter offers quit within 6 months or are terminated within one year. Other considerations – coworkers may resent you. And those are just the repercussions of accepting the counter offer. Consider yourself bought off. Will anything really change? Was it just a better salary you were looking for?
Now consider the consequences of rescinding the offer you accepted when you resigned from your current employer. Your value was already established with the new company who thought you were worth more or saw your potential and chose to invest in that potential. The company that “you left at the altar” is expecting you and has cancelled their search, sent Dear John letters to the candidates that were not chosen, arranged for your training and purchased your new equipment and set up your email address. Your revocation of the offer will quite likely burn bridges with other prospective employers. Never doubt that negative press spreads like wildfire in tight niche spaces.
Accepting an offer and then getting cold feet can have a snowball effect on your reputation. Many times the acceptance of an offer of employment is a legally binding contract that holds you responsible for losses the company may suffer due to your actions.
You – the job candidate can become branded as unreliable and such reputations have a way of “getting around” in the business world as well as with the network of recruiters in your space. Relationships with clients and colleagues suffer. You may find yourself not put forward for other positions that you may have been suited for.
THINK !! Before you ever present your resignation letter, go back and make a list of everything that dissatisfies you with your current position. Read it several times before you present the letter. Make sure you understand exactly why you no longer want to stay with your current employer and be prepared for a possible counter offer. Remember, sometimes people get fired and sometimes people fire their employer. If you make the decision that it is time to move on then stand your ground, don’t be swayed by promises, and resign in style.