Never accept a counter offer

Original author: Vardan Torosyan
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I suppose we all went through a job change at least once. There can be different reasons to change jobs: new opportunities, higher salaries, problems with colleagues, etc.
I call them the trigger of the transition . When it works, it is already difficult to stop, and then there are two possible scenarios:

  • You start looking for a new job
  • A new job starts looking for you

Sooner or later, the moment comes when you get an offer so attractive that you have to be crazy (or stupid ) to refuse it. Accepting the offer, you suddenly think of such a thing, which is called "interview on dismissal." You recall your good relationship with your current employer and start writing a letter of resignation late at night.

Sometimes, if you are a valuable shot for the company where you work, you can make a counter offer. This can happen right during the interview. Of course, they will give you time to think, and you will respond with gratitude and a promise to respond as soon as possible.

In general, you should always be prepared for such a situation. I find the counter proposal quite dangerousthing. Saying that you should be ready for it, I meant that you should never take it .
“You will earn twice as much, get a promotion, a ticket for public transport, FREE FOOD!”

Let's look at some example. Let some problem A serve as the trigger for your desire to change jobs. Since you are a good employee, you tried to solve this problem already (for example, you asked for a salary increase or tried to change the process), but you did not succeed. Now suddenly the problem A is resolved in some 10 minutes. Why couldn’t it be solved earlier? How long will it take before any problem B appears ? When problem B arises , it will be more difficult to deal with it. The overall situation will not change.

How about a scenario where there are no causes and / or problems at all? When all that you feel is a strong desire for change. We are all human and not all of our actions are rational, so even a sensation that we cannot explain to ourselves can give rise to such a desire. The reality is much harsher in such cases. People don’t expect from anyone whose dignity it’s hard for them to appreciate that one day he will come and say: “Guys, I am leaving you because I have a strange feeling”. When all that is is just a sensation, the situation is unlikely to change even with a great counter-offer, because the thought of continuing to stay at the same job because of the appearance of a free ticket for public transport will not cause you any positive emotions. This feeling will be with you constantly, it will hinder your relationship with the employer, and there will be no winner.

I saw polls showing that the majority of employees who accepted the counter-offer, nevertheless, leave the company then, on average, after 15 months. There are always exceptions; moreover, there are times when accepting a counter offer is the right decision (your cat is dying and you need a ton of money to save her).

But if your situation is not exceptional, then here is the answer to the counter-proposal that you should give: "No, thanks"


After the publication of the original post, many comments appeared , because of which the author decided to clarify his position.

  • I am not a recruiter. I have nothing to do with recruitment agencies or independent recruiters. What you read is my personal opinion.
  • My opinion is not based on the sources mentioned ; I referred to them as additional support for my position. To get more information about these polls from the inside, you can see the discussion .
  • Many commentators wrote that if you are satisfied with your current job and the counter-offer contains an increase in salary, you should accept it and stay at this job, but with a higher salary. I think that if you are generally satisfied with your current job and your salary is the only embarrassing circumstance, you should not immediately start looking for a new job. You should talk with the leader and ask for an increase. But if you did so and the situation has not changed, and something moved only when you threatened to leave, then, I think, when you have other problems, they will not be understood until you go through the whole process of recruiting staff to another company and don't get ready to leave.

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