Counter-offers: The Hidden Dangers

Naomi Robinson

You’ve made the difficult decision to resign from your current job. Perhaps you feel undervalued, the work culture is poor, or advancement opportunities are limited. Whatever the reasons, resigning is a big step.

Understandably, your employer doesn’t want to lose you, and makes a tempting counter-offer – more money, a promotion, or another incentive for you to stay. How should you respond?

It’s flattering to be persuaded to stay. But before you accept a counter-offer, reflect carefully on your original reasons for leaving. Chances are, important factors like workplace culture or lack of growth opportunities haven’t changed overnight.

Accepting a counter-offer carries risks:
  • You may be branded disloyal for looking elsewhere. Despite promises made, your future at the company will likely be limited.
  • Employers have long memories. You’ll always be seen as a flight risk, and monitored for signs of more job hunting.
  • Counter-offers often come with short-term sweeteners that aren’t sustained. Within months, you may well be dissatisfied again.

In our experience, it rarely works out long-term for employees who accept counter-offers. The concerns that drove them to resign initially tend to resurface.

Well-managed companies rarely make counter-offers, believing they should address issues proactively, not reactively. Accepting a counter-offer is usually a temporary fix, not a long-term solution.

How should you respond to a counter-offer?

First, thank your employer for their interest in retaining you. Show them that you genuinely appreciation the offer as recognition of your value and contribution.

Don’t feel pressured into an immediate decision, ask for time to carefully consider the offer. Remind yourself of all the reasons you’re leaving, and determine if the counter-offer will resolve or mitigate those issues.

Evaluate the counter-offer objectively:

  • Does it address your reasons for resigning? Or is it a quick fix?
  • What will your future prospects realistically be if you stay?
  • Is the offer you received the company norm, or something genuinely exceptional for you?

Discuss the offer in confidence with peers and mentors to gain additional perspective. Assess it carefully against your reasons for resigning before making any final decision.

Ultimately, you must make your own decision about what’s right for your career. Just bear in mind that a compelling counter-offer may be tempting, but is rarely the best long-term move.

The Arthur Edward Team

If you’re looking for a job or looking for staff in the cosmetic, beauty or personal care industry, Arthur Edward can help you find your perfect match.

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