Please don’t leave me… Dealing with counter offers

It's hard to talk about break-ups. We are always told the grass isn't always greener on the other side but until you get there you will never know. But breaking up with your employer is a life-changing event, especially when you spend most of you time at work. It can be a daunting, unsettling experience, and staying put could mean standing still forever.

I felt like cupid earlier this year, after receiving a phone call from a man who said he was fed up with his job, wasn't being paid enough and had no future at the company where he worked. He'd been thinking about it for quite some time, and the time was right to move. But like many candidates didn't want to jump ship to anywhere, he wanted the right role for him with good prospects. I found a great job for the guy, with a client I work with, and the company loved him. Just what they'd been looking for. It was a match made in heaven. The guy accepted the role and told me he was handing in his notice that day.

Three days later his boss calls him in and says he doesn't want to lose him from the team. Sorry he has not been happy and what can the company do to make him reconsider? Money? Promotion? Better office? All of the above?

My candidate called and asked what he should do? I told him to consider the reasons why he or anyone should not accept a counter offer. Counter offers are only presented once you have decided to leave. You should ask yourself, 'why didn't they offer me these benefits before?' After all if these where on the table you would not have threatened to leave in the first place. You have also just made your employer aware that you have been unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question. If you have told colleagues about your wish to leave, or you have told them you have accepted another role, your relationships with your colleagues will never be the same. Also consider when promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not.

Something else to consider is where is the money coming from, when it didn't seem forthcoming in the first place? All businesses have salary and banding guidelines. Is it your next raise early? What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?

One final point – Job hunting is stressful, it's classed as one of the 10 most stressful things to do in your lifetime. But you passed the finish line, all by yourself. You got the job. Be proud and think of your happily ever after.

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