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Reasons for not Accepting a Counter Offer

Let's face it. When someone quits, it's a direct reflection on the management. Unless you're really incompetent or a destructive thorn in their side, your manager might look bad by "allowing" you to go. Their gut reaction is to do what has to be done to keep you from leaving until they are ready for you to. That's human nature. Unfortunately, it's also human nature to want to stay unless your work life is abject misery. Career changes, like all ventures into the unknown, are tough. That's why managers know they can usually keep you around by pressing the right buttons. Before you succumb to a tempting counter offer, consider these universal employment truths: (Excerpts from a Wall Street Journal Article).


  • Ask yourself if you were worth "X" dollars yesterday, why are they suddenly willing to now pay you "Y" dollars today when you were not anticipating a raise for sometime.
  • Business Week published a set of statistics that revealed that nine out of ten candidates who accepted a counter offer were back on the streets looking within six months.
  • You should know that statistics compiled by the National Employment Association confirm the fact that over 80% of those people who elect to accept a counter offer and stayed, are no longer with their company six months later.
  • Consider the fact that your present Employer could be merely "buying time" with this raise until he can locate a replacement. Suppose you were given an annual raise as a counter offer of $3000.00. When they find a replacement for you in, say 60 days, then the actual cost to them is only $500.00.
  • The company will probably feel as though they have been "blackmailed" into giving you a raise when you announced your decision to leave.
  • Realize that you are now a marked person. The possibility of promotion is extremely limited for someone who has "given notice" The company is vulnerable, they know it and will not risk giving more responsibility to someone whom was previously committed to leave.
  • Is just more money going to change everything in your present job? Consider the new opportunity you will be giving up that looked so favorable when you accepted it.
  • When economic slow-downs occur, you could be one of the first to go. You indicated your intention to do so once before, so it is only natural that your position would be eliminated in a slack period.
  • Carefully review in your mind all the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place.

A counter offer isn't about what's best for you; it's about what's best for the company. Take an active part in your own career management. If your company is interested in your progression, you'll know it before you decide to resign. If you change your mind and stay, your motives and methods will always be suspect. Keep a steady course and don't look back. Submit a courteous, positive, and final resignation letter that leaves no room for discussion. By behaving honorably, you may have the option for re-employment with the company or to join a former boss elsewhere later on. You'll also have the chance to start a promising new role with additional challenges, an expanded network, an untarnished reputation, and a clear conscience. Everybody wins.

CAREER CENTER