Wow, I was taken by surprise when I saw the many emails in my inbox that I received after an article I recently published with the headline “Why accepting a counteroffer from a selfish employer will ruin your career.”

I should quickly add that the many emails came as a pleasant surprise. The story dealt with candidates accepting counter offers from their employer in connection with their resignation. 

Let  me say it again. The counter-offer is an insult to your intelligence. You have  been bought and it should be a blow to your pride. 

By resigning you are essentially breaking a trust that you had with your employer. If you take the counteroffer and stay, your company may feel that it owns you. You will be known as the one who caused your employer grief by threatening to quit. You'll no longer be known as a loyal employee.

Will this cause your boss to pass you over on the next possible promotion? There are stories where companies only counter to get the employee to stay until they find a replacement and then let the employee go.

Some companies feel that it's better for people to leave on their terms instead of their employees' terms. Not sure who came up with the claim that 80-90% of those accepting a counter will be out in the job market again some six months later.

  • Ask yourself why it is that on the day you give notice suddenly your opinions are so important to the boss.
  • Why have the boss and company only now become concerned about your future?
  • Why is the company only now ready to talk about compensation and benefits when they are face to face with losing you?
  • Why weren't you worth that much to them yesterday?
  • Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? Is it your next pay rise early? Or is it your year-end bonus now utilised as a short term measure?
  • Does it take you leaving to get something you should have been getting anyway?
  • If so, is that the type of company you want to work for?

When the economy goes down again, what are the chances that your boss  have you on the top of the list for personnel cutbacks? He already knows you  were unhappy and didn’t really want to be there.

Ask yourself if the counter offer is going to change everything that was wrong with your present job and that made you accept another offer? What about all the reasons you had in the first place?  

So please don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Avoid career suicide. Believe me, decent and well managed companies never make counteroffers. Ever.

One of the emails I received quoted a German proverb of wisdom and trust: “Reisende soll man ziehen lassen”. In English that would be something like: “Travellers should not be stopped”. You got it?