I am not creative enough to make this stuff up.
Here's the scenario:
Sarah is currently making $68,000 and not in a management position. She started interviewing because she wants management, opportunity, and a different company culture. Her company is large and structured in a way that limits her opportunities at the local level. She doesn't see herself going corporate, but currently reports to corporate, and is not happy with the reporting structure.
Our Client offered her $92,000, a management position with increased responsibilities and opportunities; without the behemoth corporation to deal with. This was obviously her next career move.
Sarah was ecstatic and accepted the offer. She was to begin in four weeks.
Bring out the hankies. The usual shock and dismay was expressed upon her resignation. Jaws dropped, seas parted, and panic set in. Sarah was sincerely asked to reconsider her resignation. .
A bit misty, Sarah thanked everyone and assured her continued friendship. All were assured that she would not change her mind. She was firm in her decision to resign.
Two weeks later her employer presented a counter offer. Sarah changed her mind and decided to stay with her employer. Loyalty and commitment to the job were a big part of her decision to accept the counter offer.
Is That All There Is?
She stayed put because her employer offered her a management title, and changed the reporting structure. She no longer has to report to corporate.
Not a dime more in salary, no change in duties. However; bonus potential. Maybe.
It took her employer two weeks to come up with nothing but a pat on the head. The strategy worked. And, it cost little or nothing.
The whole thing makes me sad. She is loyal and sincere, but she doesn't realize that with the new title she was actually demoted. Her employer catered to her wishes and changed the reporting structure. And, for that she turns down a $24,000 raise.
Would she pay her employer 24K a year for the privilege of working there? Sarah is doing that right now
You like me, you really like me!
The counter offer reaffirmed that value for Sarah. Mountains were moved to make her happy. The reporting structure was changed and, a title created for her. It felt good to be recognized for the hard work, she felt wanted, and needed.
Two weeks ago Sarah was considered a highly competent team player by her employer. Her demands have made her 'special'. She has rocked the boat. Her special situation is like a thorn in the company’s side. Now, she has little chance of advancement. let alone job longevity. Sarah will now either wallow in the cage she built for herself, or be replaced.
Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
Do not resign from your employer if you can be bought. Be honest with yourself, if your employer negotiates a killer offer for you to stay, would you have the strength to turn it down? If you think you would be tempted to stay, do not resign. Always negotiate with your employer in good faith. If you want something, ask for it. Never use an offer as leverage. Even if it wasn't your intention, if you accept a counter offer, it looks as if you leveraged your offer to get what you wanted.
Of course, like Sarah, when faced with a counter offer you may feel flattered, perhaps honoured. Do not be duped. Your employer has titled the job you perform, and is paying you what the job is worth. Your employer is paying you the salary that corresponds with the scope of the position. Since you are paid the salary to do the job, you mistakenly think it’s about you. It’s not.
You are not special. If the company is changing anything JUST FOR YOU, you have mucked up the system. Systems don't just happen. Corporations don't have feelings. As sincere as everyone is at the time of the counter offer, the corporation doesn't care. A corporation is like a Big Foot. It is focused on survival and dominance. It defecates in the stream and eats it's young. Even if the f
The Moral of the Story
Never take a counter offer. When you resign do it with grace and a happy heart. Have gratitude for the experience you gained. Look forward. And remember: No matter how sincere all parties appear at the time of the counter offer, the corporation has reasons to either squash your career by keeping you in the cage, or replace you. Immediately. (this is the eating it's young part)
Do yourself a favor, when you receive a counter offer, do one thing, move on. Remain friends. Don't burn bridges. You might be back. A graceful exit on your terms now is better than a security escort on their terms later.
Created the High Touch Recruiting™ Method, and authored the book, "Offer Reconstruction, High Touch Recruiting™ Methods That Work When Nothing Else Will"