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Counteroffer: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

By Emma Tee on

Mention a counteroffer to a recruiter and their heart will shatter into a million pieces. 

We will forgive you though…we promise! Ultimately, everyone has to do what’s right for them in the moment, so we understand why people decide to remain. It’s easy. You know the job, you know the people, and you’ve likely got a pay rise or promotion in the process. 

It’s said that 40% of UK employers counteroffer when a resignation letter lands in their inbox, but perhaps more surprisingly over half of employees who are counteroffered accept them. 

The question is, is staying all it’s cracked up to be and how should you handle a counteroffer if it comes your way? That’s what we’re going to delve into and answer here! 👇

How to Handle A Counteroffer?

  • First things first, you need to know the real reason why you started looking. Was it that you wanted further career progression? Was it that you wanted a new challenge as you became bored with the day-to-day? Was it that you wanted a change in industry/sector? Was it that you wanted a higher salary? (A quick tip on this one, looking for a higher salary by getting a new job isn’t the way to get a pay rise!), Or was it that there was a significant problem in the workplace that forced you to make the move? Whatever it may be, you need to know the real reason why you started your job search and if the problem can be resolved by accepting a counteroffer. 
  • Next up, it’s time to get the pen and paper out and write a list of pros and cons. This is a difficult one as you know everything you need to know about where you currently work and you can only imagine what your new prospective employer has on offer. This means that you can only really take into account the details you know about your new job offer. Consider the job itself, salary, benefits, and distance. Unfortunately, you can’t take into account culture or management as you’ve not yet had the experience working in your new job to get a good grasp, although Glassdoor does offer some insight – just bear in mind that there will likely be a disgruntled employee or two as nowhere is perfect! 
  • Once you’ve considered the tangible details, it’s time to move on and listen to your gut. Your gut instinct is usually right but in this situation, feelings can sometimes become a little jumbled! Nerves and trepidation are normal feelings when considering a job move, but this can also be mixed with excitement for the job and what the future may hold. You are ultimately responsible for your decision, but it’s important to speak to your friends and family, the ones who know you best, as they are usually the best soundboard for you to bounce your feelings off. 
  • An extra thing that you may want to consider is what happens if you stay?! This isn’t an answer that you’ll definitively know. You should, however, bear in mind how your colleagues may feel if you’ve been offered a promotion or salary increase and they haven’t, and consider how your manager feels after you tell them that you no longer want to work with the company. It can sometimes breed contempt and make for an uncomfortable atmosphere. 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

This is a decision that only you can make. 

For some people accepting a counteroffer works, they remain with the company for years to come and forge a successful, progressive career. However, more often than not, it doesn’t pan out. And, unfortunately, that’s something we can vouch for. 

It’s reported that 80% of people who accept a counteroffer discover a new job within the first six months, a stat that you may want to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation as it signifies that underlying issues persist. 

It’s akin to getting back with an ex, it may seem like a good idea filled with unicorns and rainbows to begin with, but things soon slip back to normality and you find yourself bickering about the washing up that’s been left on the side or the dirty socks that now live on the floor unless they miraculously find the laundry basket themselves (not talking from experience, honest!). 

Our advice? Go for the option that ignites a fire in your belly and will make you happy. Then don’t look back. 

If you’ve taken a counteroffer and think it was the wrong choice, get in touch with us!