Should I stay or should I go? The Counter offer.

Congratulations on finding a new job! It is a time of great excitement, especially now you have taken the plunge and handed in your letter of resignation.

However, you were not expecting your current employer to come back with a counter offer and now your initial elation has turned to turmoil. Should you stay or should you go? 

Either way see it as a positive and a confidence boost, as you and your skills are valued and in demand by two organisations.  The pressure is now on to make the right decision quickly as neither party wants to wait. 

Why are you being made a counter offer?

Counter offers have become increasingly common as employers attempt to retain strong performers that they have invested time and resource training over the years. They may also fear the consequences of the resignation, especially if the individual is heading off to a competitor. So what should you do in your situation? The truth is that only you can answer that question as everyone has different circumstances, but with some careful thought you can make the right call. 

Do you want a comfort zone or career progression? 

In all likelihood the counter offer you have been made represents an increase in your salary, which either matches or even improves upon your new opportunity. The 10% pay rise you would receive in the new role now doesn’t look as appealing as the 20% being tabled by your current, but money isn’t everything when it comes to a change in your career. 

Of course a counter offer is often very tempting, after all you know the company, the job and the people and you will have none of that initial fear and trepidation that comes with being the ‘newbie’. In many respects it is the safe option but it isn’t always the right one.  Forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone is often the best way to grow as a person and a professional. 

The question to ask yourself is why do you want to leave your current job? If you love the company, the commute is short which means you spend more time with the family, it just doesn't match your financial expectations, then perhaps the decision to stay may be easier (although we urge you not just to think short-term). 

The five factors that drive a person’s decision to change job:

  1. Does the reputation, profile, ethos and culture of the new company sit well with your aspirations and expectations?
  2. Will your new remit give you the scope to broaden your experience and gain more specialist knowledge that will make you more marketable in the future?
  3. Is the new role a step up and does it give you a challenge that excites?
  4. Are your future prospects better at the new company?
  5. What are the short and long term financial prospects?

Be honest with yourself and you will make the right choice

Ask yourself each of these questions and try to be as objective as you can. This isn't about taking risks or playing safe but challenging yourself to understand what it is you really want. Talk it over with your family, friends and trusted colleagues, draw up a list of pros-and-cons. This is a big decision so you need to carefully consider whether a counter offer will in fact counter all of your reasons for deciding to move jobs.  

We wish you good luck with your choice, whichever path you choose to take.