Don't be lured by the short-term appeal of a counteroffer

You've just received an offer for your dream job and you go into your boss' office to resign.

You've just received an offer for your dream job and you go into your boss' office to resign. Then your supervisor asks if there is anything they can do to keep you from leaving. You are presented with a counteroffer. You may be promised more money, a higher title, or whatever perks your boss may use to prevent you from leaving.

Should you take a counteroffer? The answer is no. Statistics have shown that most people who accept counteroffers do not end up staying in their present jobs for more than six months and there are many reasons why this happens.

Once you've decided to resign, the loyalty between you and your employer is broken. According to, "Pitting your employer against another in a bidding war for you is often career suicide."

You end up burning bridges with the company that offered you the job and you will not be completely trusted by your current employer. If you looked for a new job once, you will likely look to leave again. If you happened to find the potential new job through a recruiter, your relationship with that person will also be damaged.

You should also ask yourself why your employer waited until you tried to resign to offer you a better situation. By doing so, they are trying to save themselves the time and trouble of looking for your replacement, rather than rewarding you for a job well done.

If the counteroffer includes salary or job improvements, are you getting your next raise in advance? Also, will you have to accept another job to get the raise and promotion after that?

You need to think long and hard about the new job. Just as there are reasons for leaving your current company there are many reasons why you accepted the new job in the first place. These opportunities do not disappear the moment you receive a counteroffer.

The best way to avoid a counteroffer - and the awkwardness that could arise with it - is to take charge of the situation. Be definitive in your decision. When asked if there is anything that would make you stay, thank your employer for the opportunity to work there, but affirm that your mind is made up and nothing will change it. This way you will avoid the issue of being persuaded to stay.

Accepting a counteroffer might look like a good move in the short term, but, most likely, it will not be long before you find yourself looking for a new job again. l

Jane Waldman is VP of recruitment at Kaplow Communications.

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