Something Stinks, "Oh It's a Counter Offer"

A quick search for “counter-offer” on any search engine will yield a
bucket of articles and information about the pitfalls of accepting
a counter-offer. And do I really have to mention the well known
statistic that for every person who accepts a counter-offer, they will
change jobs within 6 months anyway?

But who cares about stats? They are wrong 50% of the time anyway, right?

Today I am going to set the record straight once and for all. I am going to dig into the counter-offer debate with a never before candidness. After reading this article, you will officially achieve
professional enlightenment.

If you recently accepted one or have your mind made up that you will accept one, don’t read further. You will be offended.

My take on counter-offers:

There is something slimy, creepy and even down right putrid about the whole concept of a counter-offer. Just writing about it makes me cringe with disgust.

For the record, I have personally recruited for many managers who were dying to replace an employee who recently accepted a counter offer on them. Why wouldn’t you want to replace a no good, two faced, cheater?

Look, I am not saying there is something wrong with conducting a career search while you are currently employed. I think we have all done it at some point. Besides, if your current employer is not meeting
your needs even though you have invested many years and time into them,
then it might be right to make a change.

What I am emphasizing here is not turning back once the decision to change has been made. And let me tell you why!

When you engage a company about an opportunity, go through all of the interviews, sell everyone on your commitment to make the leap forward and go as far as signing an offer letter… you are bound by an unspoken
code to not turn back. If you do turn back, you have just taken a whole
lot of people for a ride.

Not only did you cost your new prospective employer time and money. The whole time you were half-way engaged at your current employer interviewing was an additional burden on them. And by accepting a
counter-offer you now are getting more without earning it.

If you are worth more, then I suggest you march into your bosses office and ask for more now. Don’t go through the song and dance of interviews and offers just to have some false leverage.

It takes a very self-centered, selfish and rather out of touch person to really think a counter-offer is a token of sincere appreciation for you. It’s a business decision based on numbers that have no feelings.

Let me rephrase it another way.

Taking a counter offer is like being in a committed relationship with someone where you are secretly playing the field. Then once you found someone you deem better, you try to ditch the original person. But
somehow you chicken out because you get sweet talked into not
dumping the original person. So you carry on thinking it’s all fine and
dandy, riding high on all the attention until you get canned properly in
a few months anyway.

Who on earth wants to be with someone who plays the field? Would you?

In addition to the weasel aspect of it, your employer who is on the receiving end of your resignation notice is hardly prepared to bear the cost of your departure so abruptly. So of course they are going to make
you a counter-offer. Why wouldn’t they? You may be working on a large
project or doing something else important. And it will take time and
money to find your replacement. The more time they have the less it will
cost and vice versa.

You see, the cost of paying you more and upgrading your office now is not nearly as high as finding someone new and hope they are a good fit. But with time, all problems have a solution. Including employees who
play the field and don’t have the nerve to follow through.

Now that you have officially revealed yourself as an outsider. As someone who is truly unhappy, someone who was looking across the yard… you are no longer a trusted member of the inner circle. You will always
feel awkward at the Christmas party and at the happy hour get togethers.
You will get passed up for raises and people might stop saying hi to

And most importantly, while you are riding high on the love you got to stick around. A recruiter like me is out there finding your replacement. It’s a sad truth, so take the time to reflect on what I
have written thus far because there is more ahead.

The company and manager you snubbed and the karma you generated will follow you around forever. You will have a hard time, if ever getting hired on by the company you snubbed. And pray that the manager who you
took for a ride does not get called by an industry insider trying to get
the scoop on you for another opportunity. This happens all the time, so
you need to consider your back-end risk.

Furthermore, the anxiety of all of this will not decrease. You will feel that bulls-eye on the back of your head that says, fire that person at first opportunity. And to make it worse, the original reason
you wanted to change jobs will have not changed. See, more money can
only go so far when you are unhappy. And that love you got to stick
around will fade quicker than a pair of cheap blue jeans. When the
reality sets back in and you realize that you are not in any better
shape, you will start looking again.

That’s if you haven’t gotten fired already.

But this time your search will be from a position of weakness and you will end up taking a lesser offer. You might get lucky and find a better job, you might stick around with your current employer for the
long haul. But do you really want all these mights to determine the fate
of your career?

You may be thinking that this John Sanders must have gotten hosed by a counter-offer. The truth is, no one has ever taken a counter-offer on me. I have a career 98% fill ratio once an offer has
been extended. But I will tell you a secret. I took a counter-offer
early in my career and it was the dumbest move I ever made

You can see other posts by me at blog:

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