#2 — Counteroffers and how to handle them

The time has come, you finally landed that dream job. You now have the (usually) anxious task of speaking with your current manager to tell them you are leaving.

In theory resigning from your current position should be a straightforward task until… the counteroffer to stay is presented. All the doubts start to run through your head thinking “am I doing the right thing leaving?” and now you feel valued as your employer has offered to increase your salary/improve your job title. My advice would be to take the emotion out of the counteroffer. Over half of employees are counter offered.

Below I will share my thoughts on what to consider when making a move:

What peaked your interest about a new job in the first place?

In my opinion, this is the most important factor you need to consider when leaving your current employer. Your current position was missing something which has led to you entertaining a new position and subsequently securing that job. Take time to think about why you were looking for a new role.

Does your new position offer you greater career development? (not financial gain, we will come onto that!)

The two core variables when securing a new job are typically: career growth and a rise in salary. Does your new position offer you a greater opportunity to develop your career? Do you see this job being an opportunity you stick around with and learn/grow as an individual? The answer doesn’t have to be yes, however, if it isn’t, outline what you are looking to accomplish from joining the new business vs staying at your current job.

What is the financial gain to join your new company?

Although salary isn’t the sole reason for changing companies, it would be fair to say it plays a considerable part in the decision making. A lot of current employers will aim to match the salary you have obtained in your new position. However, take some time to think, why has it taken them to the point of me leaving to offer that money? The majority of times, it is desperation to keep you happy and counter balance the cost of hiring your replacement. Statistically speaking, 80% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months.

Think longer term!

When under pressure, the brain can make irrational decisions; which often leads to a longer term negative outcome, not everyone takes a new job and considers, what do the next 5–10 years look like? I understand why, especially in the IT sector as the average tenure is much shorter, however is your current employer really a business you can see yourself dedicating your work life to for another 5+ years? The common answer is no.

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