How to handle a counter-offer when leaving your job


80% of people leave a job within six months of being counter offered for another job.

Whether it be a salary increase, a change in working conditions or another incentive, counter-offers became common during the boom. Generally speaking, these offers occur when you tell your manager that you’ve been offered a position elsewhere only to be told that they don’t want to lose you. It could be a few years yet before they become a common occurrence again, but it is worth being prepared in case a counter-offer presents itself the next time you hand in your notice.

Giving your notice

  • Once you’ve been offered the job, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss it, don’t just follow them into the corridor or kitchen for “quick chat”. If they have seen you book odd days off recently or been nipping out on your mobile, there will be a chance they will know what’s coming.
  • Be honest in what you have been offered, this is not the time to add a fictional €5k to your job offer.
  • Explain your reasons for leaving. At this stage, you should have made up your mind on why this new role is a better option for you. Outline this to your manager but never make it personal.
  • Give them a chance to respond and take care to listen to what your current employer has to say. They may have prepared for this possibility and have a specific counter-offer in mind, or they might even make an offer in response to your reasons for leaving. It will always be worth listening to the offer, even if you know there is no way you will change your mind.

Don’t change your position

If you’re leaving because you have an hour commute and the new job is 10 minutes from home, realistically, what will an extra €5k do for you? Especially when you consider the commuting costs, wasted time in the car, etc.? Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by irrelevant incentives.

Consider the offer

If your current employer makes an offer worth staying for, you need to be sure before you consider rejecting the new job. Once you have been through a full recruitment process, you may find it difficult to motivate yourself to continue in your current role. It’s also worth repeating that if you’re leaving for personal reasons like a personality clash or difficult working hours, more money is unlikely to be the answer.

On the other hand, switching roles can mean a lot of upheavals. If you are happy with the counter-offer and are sure that you can put the decision to leave behind you, it may be worth staying put.

Don’t try to start a bidding war

If you do decide to take the counter-offer, call the other employer straight away to explain what’s happened. There is a chance that they will improve or increase the original job offer; however, it’s best not to get into an auction scenario. This will appear unprofessional at best and downright disrespectful at worst. A top recruiter at this point can act as a great sounding board or intermediary between you and the company, especially if you’re still in doubt about which offer to take.

80% of people leave a job within six months of being counter offered for another job.

While it is a good problem to have, being counter-offered can be a really difficult and confusing. The important thing is to focus on the reasons you started your jobs search in the first place and make sure that whatever decision you make, it’s the right one for you




    Excellent article , very good key points .

  • Petar Svecak Avatar

    Petar Svecak

    Excellent article , very good key points .

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