Great! After quite a bit of courage to leave the comfort zone, and some stealthy job hunting, you have just accepted a new position with another company. You are in the process of turning in your notice; it was a difficult decision, and you thought long and hard about what path you should take. But, finally, you have decided to leave.
In your resignation meeting, you tell your employer you have decided to leave the company to go take on another opportunity. All goes well, until your employer interrupts you by saying, “I can’t believe that today is the day you are telling us you are leaving. What a coincidence. Tomorrow we were going to promote you, and next week we were going to give you a top-secret bonus. Why don’t we just give you those things today and forget about you leaving? What sort of offer did they make you? We’ll match it.”
You think to yourself something between “That was too easy!”, “Uh-oh, now what?” and “It’s a trap!”. You have finally received that raise that you wished for, and a promotion to go along with it! It never rains but it pours! Panic ensues.
Good companies try to keep their staff as long as they can, and when a desirable employee turns in his or her notice, many times a well-intentioned manager will try to talk the employee out of it with a financial incentive to stay. There are also more cynical views of this situation…
This is a perilous position to be in, as the decision has serious consequences both ways. Consider the following before accepting that counteroffer:
Was it only about money? Was it because you weren’t satisfied with the work you were doing? Were you perhaps looking for a new challenge, or were you tired of the same old office politics and colleagues? You spend many hours of your day at work, so working somewhere where you would want to work, could significantly impact your overall happiness.
After resigning, you have made your employer aware that you were looking for another job opportunity and were unhappy. Your loyalty towards your current employer will now be drawn into question. Caveat Emptor!
Should you be working for a company that needs to be threatened before they give you what you are worth? What real opportunities exist for further career growth, if the company could not appreciate you before having their hand forced?
Accepting counteroffers after already accepting another position burns bridges with your current employer, other companies (and your recruiter, natch). This ultimately shows that you can be bought and manipulated.
There are always exceptions though, and the ball remains in your court. But play wisely. Good luck!
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
– Auguste Rodin