The Top 5 Reasons Not To Accept a Counter Offer
By Mike Curry, Executive Recruiter, IT Division
So you find yourself with an offer from a new company, and whether you actively solicit a counter or you simply allow one to come, you are playing with fire. It is a highly risky move to accept a counter offer. These are the main reasons not to accept a counter offer.
1. Your Manager is Going to Hate You.
Okay, hate may be strong but s/he is not going to be happy with you. Once the relief that you are staying and that the projects underway haven’t been sabotaged by a sudden departure, negative feelings are going to seep in. The manager will likely harbor feelings of doubt about whether you solicited an offer just for leverage. S/he may worry that this incident will let loose a chain reaction, with others taking a stab at it. There’s going to be second guessing about whether you may try this again. Such a move will definitely be perceived as a breach of trust.
2. Resentment Complicates Relationships.
Your colleagues aren’t going to quite know if they should resent you for strong arming the company into a counter or resent you for not thinking of it themselves first. Or perhaps they will simply resent that the perceived raise you just obtained will affect their bonus or other programs as the current budget is adjusted to pay for your advantage. Or maybe they will appreciate your desire to advance but no longer trust that you are really dedicated to the team in the same way they are. Your commitment to your company / product / team has been seriously put into question, and this creates un-easy work environment. Things could get uncomfortable and complicated from here on out with all your colleagues.
3. That Glowing Recommendation is Probably Dimmer Now.
If you were pursuing another opportunity or allowing yourself to be courted, there was a reason, and it doesn’t support a lifetime career where you are. You may have had a great run at your company but now you’ve played kiss and tell. You pursued another offer, then used it to manipulate your current employer. This leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Those colleagues and supervisors who would have written you a glowing recommendation may have some reticence to associate their name to you with as strong of a recommendation, or they may not want to make one at all.
4. Like that Great Bump in Salary?
Are you feeling excited about the end of the year bonus? Anticipating a raise at review time along with everyone? Guess what, that bump to get you to stay was your raise. Your earnings may have gotten a boost to keep you, but will the raise or bonus schedule stall out now as a payback or a budget equalizer? And in terms of reward and incentive, why should your company trust that any planned increase in pay will keep you motivated, they may want to hold back just in case you try to leverage an increase again.
5. You Just Became a Temp
Everyone is glad to not to have the boat upset but now you’ve become a warm body in the seat. You are still working on all those key projects that need to get done, but in the meantime you’ve just given your company the breathing room to to search for your replacement. Since they don’t trust you anymore, they are proactively and confidentially looking for the person to take your role. Once jilted, no one wants to be in that position again. So as not to be left in the lurch, your management will hire someone who they feel confident is genuinely interested in being there. Your days are numbered.
About the Author:
Mike Curry, Executive Recruiter, IT Division
A people person, Mike grew up a military brat who moved around every two years, left home at 17 to play hockey, then gave up a gig as a professional hockey player to work in mental health. The opportunity to play hockey and ski, as well as use his degree in Psychology, brought him to Sun Valley where he now matches talent nationally with growth mode companies in various tech sectors.