What if you receive a counter offer?

You have made the decision to move on and find a new job, you have updated your cv, registered with a credible recruitment agency and attended interviews. Then you have it, the offer you have been waiting for! Next step is to hand in your notice. But what if your current employer really wants you to stay?  It’s very flattering that your employer won’t let you go without a fight and it’s important to seriously consider it but also to remember why you were looking for a new role in the first place.

Were you actively looking to leave your role because you have gone as far as possible or were genuinely dissatisfied or had somebody just turned your head?

If you were genuinely looking, had you discussed your development opportunities frankly with your boss before letting them know you were leaving?  If you have had the discussion before now and given them the chance to give you development opportunities but they had not progressed it, then not accepting the counter offer is probably the right thing to do.  They are likely to be in a panic about how to replace you.

However, if your current boss has previously shown you that you are important and taken steps to help your development then its only fair to let them know that somebody has approached you to fast track your aspirations. Letting them know that you appreciate they have been good to you and that whilst you are tempted by this other company you would rather stay if the development opportunities were similar or better.  After all, you have worked hard to develop a relationship with your boss, it’s good if you can build on this.  If your boss can’t help you achieve your aspirations, you will often find that as you have been honest with them, they are supportive of your move.

If the counter offer you receive from your current boss is genuinely a knee-jerk response and it’s not founded in by desire to retain you in the business and support you career, but more about avoiding the cost of replacing you and training somebody new, then accepting their offer may not be the right thing for you.

Your reasons for looking outside of the business will still be there underlying any cosmetic changes to your circumstances so graciously declining the counter offer and thanking them for the help they have given you is probably the right thing to do.

Take a look at our other job hunting advice pieces here