Beware the Counter Offer!

Beware the Counter Offer!

When you have received an offer of employment that you are inclined to accept, you must consider very carefully whether it really solves your problem and offers you the opportunity you are seeking before you resign from your current employment.

If you choose to accept the offer and to resign from your current employment, you must be prepared to resist powerful, persuasive tactics which your employer can use to change your mind.

It is almost invariably a costly irritation for employers to recruit your replacement and often they will do everything they can to keep you. They may offer large sums of money or increased benefits, titles and promises for the future. They can also apply strong emotional and psychological pressure. It can be attractive and tempting to accept. However, once they know you are discontented, they might regard you as a ‘problem employee’. Nationally compiled statistics show that nine out of ten people who accept counter offers have either secured a new job or are still looking for one six months later, usually because the real reasons for wanting to change your job in the first place have not gone away.

Twelve Reasons for Not Accepting a Counter Offer

  1. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on your commitment will always be in question.
  2. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who isn’t.
  3. When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.
  4. When your employer replaces you after six months and ‘lets you go’, it’ll be harder to turn them around than it was for them to turn you around.
  5. Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence. The employer is implying that you didn’t know what was best for you.
  6. Accepting a counter offer is a blow to your personal pride, knowing you were ‘bought’.
  7. Accepting a counter offer rarely changes the factors that drove you to look for a new job in the first place.
  8. Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? Is it your next pay rise early?
  9. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, there is a ninety percent chance you will be out of the job within six months.
  10. What type of a company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you’re worth?
  11. Why didn’t they pay you that before? Maybe it was because they didn’t think you were worth it.
  12. Why are they paying it to you now? Perhaps because it’s easier and cheaper for them to keep you for the time being, while they sort the problem out.

Of course, accepting a counter offer and staying put might actually be your best option, but it's worth bearing these points in mind, just in case!


The counter offer is one of the factors that might stop you getting your next job.  Find out what the others are by downloading our report.

Blues Point report for IT jobseekers