Counteroffer From Your Current Employer? 3 Things to Consider Before You Accept

by Susan Mullin

Have you ever received a counteroffer from a current employer?

It’s hard to know what to do when your manager comes back with an attractive counteroffer after you give notice – and there are many factors to consider besides higher pay. Here are some important things to think about before accepting one:

Think about why you were looking for another job in the first place

If it’s mainly about the money and your current employer matches it in their counteroffer, that may be enough for you to stay. But if company culture, management style or values are a big part of your interest in a new position, you need to seriously think about how important these are to you and if your existing company can truly deliver them.

If the new job offers you a clear growth path you’re particularly interested in, does the counteroffer include that as well, and, if so, do you really think it will happen given your previous experience there? Tread carefully if you can’t answer yes in these cases. If you accept, you may be tempted to leave again in the not-so-distant future.

Consider why your employer chose to step up and offer you more now vs. before you gave notice

Did you pursue the new role because of a lack of opportunities for growth, a feeling of not being valued, or simply know you’re underpaid based on the market rate for your role and years of experience? If so, ask yourself why your manager(s) finally addressed this in their counteroffer.

Were they unaware of your feelings and what you should be compensated and are genuinely committed to making it right? While this does happen sometimes, other times, people simply don’t address these needs because they weren’t a top priority. Do you really want to work for an employer who waits to act until you are ready to leave?

Do the money and benefits/perks include everything you are looking for?

If you are still seriously considering the counteroffer after thinking about items 1 and 2 above, this is the moment to negotiate for any other benefits or perks you want, as well higher base pay and bonus. Think about more flexibility, more PTO, financial compensation, training and put everything on the table you want. It doesn’t hurt to ask and it helps you see exactly how much your current employer wants to keep you before you say yes.

A counteroffer can be tricky to navigate. Sometimes it’s worth taking them but many times it’s not. Take the time to really consider why you pursued a new job before accepting even an attractive counteroffer and make sure whichever job you choose truly meets your needs.

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