When does accepting counter offer from current employer make sense?

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accepting counter offer from current employerMany articles advise against accepting a job counter offer from the current employer, as your current boss may no longer trust your loyalty or may not present you with future advancement opportunities. I am somehow not fully convinced yet. Do you guys have any thoughts on that? Has anyone successfully stay and still be happy about the decision to accept counter offer retrospectively?

Editor's Discussion Summary:
  • Most say don't take your current employer's counter-offer
  • The top reason seems to be the spoiled relationship this might create
  • Others say it's important to keep one's word to the new employer
  • Some accepting a counter offer can work out fine
  • Those point out that it's mainly a compensation comparison
  • Employers tend to pay as little as possible for as long as possible
  • When it's time to move on, it's time to move on
  • Plus much more below!

Read more and then consider just asking for a raise. Here's how: https://www.proformative.com/questions/how-to-ask-for-a-pay-raise



If you're not convinced - go ahead and accept the counteroffer.

You're not going to be thrilled with the results.

I could be wrong. I've been in the search business for 12 years. I have never seen a successful career post-counteroffer acceptance.

Good luck,

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I agree with Samuel. If you had to go elsewhere to validate your economic worth, then you are not in the right place.

Caveat to Samuel's statement, odds will have it that you won't be in your job for the long-term, because the process of saying to your current employer "I've been offered..." is telling them "I'm not happy and I want to leave...".

They will leave you first...

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As above,
don't even think about it.

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I've seen one work out successfully ... so far anyway. She had been with the company for 12 years and had an excellent relationship with her boss. And, they truly needed her.

However, it isn't something I recommend. You've already compromised your loyalty in the eyes of at least some in the company, and they will just be looking for an opportunity to let you go in the future.

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I've seen it work out successfully several times. In fact, it basically happened to me. I'd worked for an employer for a year before accepting another position with a substantial salary increase. At the time, they were not in a position to make a counter offer, but when they were two years later they made it, I accepted it, and remained there for six years when I left for personal reasons (too much travel).

If you're not convinced, I think you should accept it. You need to do what feels right for you and your family. It may turn out that the grass is not greener on the other side. Maybe you won't remain at your current job forever, but maybe an even better opportunity is out there for you and when it appears - accepting it will feel right.

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Brenda - your situation is I believe a little different than the question the person asked.

You were re-hired after a period of time, because of your skill sets vis a vis the old employer.

This person is still at their job.

I see this difference as the defining issue, for not saying I found another job.

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I was counter offered and declined. I believed I had already given my word to my new employer. I proceeded and was glad. I maintained good working relations with both the old and new employer.

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@Wayne - I do think it was a similar situation as a counter offer was discussed at the time but the money was not available.

I think the primary factor is your relationship with management. If you have a good working relationship, you will probably know if it's going to be held against you in the future.

Maybe this is a cultural issue, as I've worked primarily with small businesses in the midwest, but I have seen it work several times. I just think its a gross generalization for everyone to say it will never work because sometimes it does.

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I don't believe I said "never", I did say or imply "dangerous".

And yes, it depends on many, many factors, I agree wholeheartedly.

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It may be rare but it can work. I made a counter offer to an employee on my staff that included a promotion and a pay raise. This was probably 8 years ago and the employee is still doing a great job for the company.

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The employee should do what is easiest for them. It's business.

As an employee - if I am being paid $50 today, and I am willing to uproot myself for $100, but my current role offers me $100 to stay, why not?

Now flip it around. As a manager - You manage an employee who is willing to do a job for $50, so that is what you pay, even though an open market price is $100. The employee comes to you one day and says I have an offer for $100. You say you are wiling to match.

Is there a trust issue? No.

The moral of the story - if you don't ask, you don't get.

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I think there is a difference in an employee saying "I think I'm being underpaid" and an employee saying "XYZ Corp just offered me a job for $50/hour more, what's your counter-offer?"

In the former, Regis you are correct. In the latter, it may lead (ultimately) to the answer "go".

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When I was at my prior employer I knew when it was time for me to go. I had to make up mind that when I found another employer I wanted to go to work for I had to go. When I got the call from my current employer in 2011 I went to the controller of the prior employer, told him I was moving on. He wanted to talk to the CFO to see if I could possibly get a bump in pay to stay. I told him it wasn't for money that I was leaving, in fact I took a 10% pay cut to leave my prior employer.

On the other side though I had an interview earlier this year with a very large organization and made it to the last round of the interview process. My boss got a little suspicious and asked me if I was interviewing. I couldn't lie, although I wanted to. I told him I did have an interview, what the position was, the organization, and the pay. I ended up not getting that job (it was a blessing in disguise).

Thankfully the interview incident didn't have a negative effect on my relationship with my boss. It actually brought out some issues during my yearly evaluation that helped him, the company, and me since that interview.

However, when it comes time for me to leave my employer, no counter offer will do. As Linda Wright said, you've already given your word to another company, better keep your word, and keep good working relationships.