How to deal with a counter offer

How to deal with a counter offer


You have handed in your resignation and are thinking about your farewell party when your boss tells you she/he will make it worth your while to stay. What do you do?

Counter-offers take one of many forms, from a straight salary increase to additional company benefits, a promotion, a new job title, additional responsibilities, a change in role, more involvement in projects that interest you or any combination of these.

It’s understandable that employers may attempt to reverse your decision to leave if you have the right skills, cultural fit and are highly valued. An employer may also decide that they do not have the time to train someone new into the role.

As enticing as counter offers may appear to be, it’s important to keep a clear head, take a step back and consider the options available.

You wanted a change and have seriously considered, applied for, interviewed for and accepted another job that meets your criteria. Ultimately, your decision to leave was made a long time ago.

That’s why we suggest you reflect on the reasons you looked for a new role initially and gain commitment from your employer to tackle these issues before accepting a counter offer. For example, if your current role lacks long-term career growth potential or you are feeling unchallenged and bored, gain commitment that your employer will develop a long-term career plan for you and will revise your duties and responsibilities.

If you can see scope to overcome the reasons you decided to leave, and your motivation for leaving is beyond just a salary increase, accepting a counter offer could actually end up being a great opportunity for you and your career. But if no commitment is made to address the issues that led you to enter the job market initially, then in the interest of your career advancement it might be best to thank your boss for the offer, and move on.

It’s also worth considering why you are only being offered the salary increase or other benefits associated with the counter offer now, rather than before your resignation.

If you still decide to leave, take the counter offer in your stride. Thank your employer for the opportunity and reaffirm your intention to leave.

Should you decide to stay, be aware that you will have to work extremely hard to win back your employer's trust. You might have to strive harder than your colleagues to prove your loyalty long-term.

Remember, you can visit our online salary checker also contains the most up-to-date salary figures for your job function, which are useful if you are thinking of changing roles or negotiating a salary increase.