6 Reasons Not to Accept A Counteroffer

  | 6 min read

Is it okay to accept a counteroffer?

According to Investopedia, a counteroffer is an offer made to refute the original offer made by one party. In the professional world, counteroffers happen when an employer offers an employee, who has resigned, a raise or improved terms to try and convince them to stay. The offer will often be equal to or higher than what the employee has been offered elsewhere.

Why make a counteroffer?

Well, most employers will often not be willing to let go of star employees who add value to their business. Furthermore, an employer may not want to go through the hustle of training a new person for the vacant position all over again. In such a case, the employer will choose to give a counteroffer and it is up to you to take it or leave it.

While a counteroffer may appear like a positive thing, as you are likely to make more money and have more work benefits, without having to adjust to a new work environment. You probably wanted a new job because you wanted better terms of service or a pay raise and a counter offer may come with just that.

But, is that all you wanted?

Here is why it is ill-advised to accept a counteroffer;

  • Job dissatisfaction continues

Job dissatisfaction


The truth is, sometimes, you look for a job because you are dissatisfied with your current working environment. It may be that there are no more growth opportunities, or there are no more challenges, or you do not like the systems in your current place of work.

The truth is, even if you take that pay rise, these factors are still at play and eventually, you will still want to leave. So, if your reason for leaving is job dissatisfaction, then a counteroffer will not change the situation.

  • Your boss already knows that you want to leave

After accepting an offer elsewhere, you handed in your resignation and that is why your boss is now giving you a counteroffer. You went out looking for a job because you wanted a change for one reason or another but your boss did not know. Well, now they know and the downside is that in the event things go wrong and there is a need to downsize, you may be the first one out.

In some instances, your boss will start grooming someone to take up your position. This will be a measure to slowly let you go while ensuring that there is continuity after your departure.

The best thing to do is let your boss know why you are leaving and go ahead and leave anyway.

  • You come under sharp scrutiny

Not everyone knew you were looking for a job but now that the information is out there, people may start treating you differently if you stay.

Your colleagues now know that you had a better offer somewhere else and some of them may have already started preparing to replace you. Now that you stayed, you have thwarted their chances of moving up. Your boss may also start watching you closely and any slight mistake will not be ignored. In short, by staying, you might be setting yourself up for disappointments.

  • No recognition

In the event that you had asked for a raise earlier on and it was denied, it shows that your employer did not value your skills. Now that you have found another employer who finds more value for your skills, your employer’s eyes have been opened and they no longer take you for granted.

However, if they were not willing to give you a raise before, they probably will not give you the recognition you want in the future. And so while you may have gained more money, for now, you have may have also destroyed your opportunity to gain even more income from the company in the future.

The fact that you got the raise or promotion because your boss wanted you to stay may mean that you did not get it at the right time. Once the time comes for your colleagues to get a raise, you are likely to be overlooked.Counteroffer

Additionally, if you ask for a raise after a while, you are likely to be told that you already got one. It becomes very frustrating in the end as you might have to issue threats every time you need a raise.

  • You lose a chance to learn new skills

A job change will often force you to learn new skills or improve the ones you already have because of the new challenges you will encounter.. However, if you stay with the same company, you will most likely continue to use the same skills you’ve been using all along and miss the opportunity to grow. Usually, your skills will be limited to your current job because you are likely to only use the skills required for the job.

  • You lose the trust of the prospective future employers

Your prospective employer went through the hustle of going through your CV, inviting you for an interview, and picked you among a host of other candidates. Well, an offer means that they found you pretty good and would have liked to have you on board.

However, when you turn down their offer because you accepted your current employer’s counter offer, it means you wasted their time. This can ruin your reputation in the industry as most employers are well-networked and thus, ruin your chances of getting an excellent job in future.

While changing jobs can be stressful, the upside is that you get to gain a lot of skills when you move to a new position. Most employers are not willing to let go of well-performing employees simply because it takes a lot of time and resources to retrain a new employee. As such, they are willing to match your offer or give you a higher offer when trying to entice you to stay on board. However, this is not enough as you are unlikely to get a raise in future, you lose the trust and respect of a future employer, the job dissatisfaction that was there before continues and finally, if an opportunity comes to let go of some people, you might be the first one out of the door. For these reasons, it is advisable not to accept a counteroffer as you are unlikely to stay on for more than one year all the same.


Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.


  1. This is the truth of the matter employers use to counter any employee wishing to leave a job and a technique of dismissal when there is need for downsize.

  2. Perfectly true. Once you disclose your intention of moving out of your current job, your employer will never value you the was they used to. Once you decide it means you are not satisfied and still you will never be in the same place. So, only disclose your intention to resign only when you know nothing else can make you stay

    • Hi Peter,
      The cons of accepting the counter offer is that rarely do counter offers end so happily and yes, your boss will always suspect you of job hunting even if you are not.

      We are glad that our articles are of relevance value to you and your career! Keep it locked for more!

  3. It is and will always remain contentious over the issue of staying or leaving. I think if you have taken your time to look for employment elsewhere it is right to leave and gain from the other job.
    A counter offer will always work against you moreover if you work for companies with single ownership.

    • Hi John,

      We totally agree with you. Dissatisfaction or the need to career growth pushes one to venture for new opportunities and when you reach to that limit, it is always advisable that you take up new challenges on the table.

  4. When you get a better offer than your current one, GO and GO. Your boss will never trust you and will start looking for the slightest mistake to get you out of employment.

    • Hi lucy
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts but from our view its advisable to weigh your options first before rushing to leave. If you are a performer, then your boss would not find any reason to fire you they will try any means necessary to retain you even to the extent that they counter the offer so there one needs to think critically.To the company you wish to go to, do a background check of the company, knowing their budget etc and by doing that you will know which route to follow.


  5. I do learn a lot from you guys, especially on how to make right decisions in my career. Thank you so much for this information.

    • You’re welcome Levi what now is important is for you to implement the tips you have learned and you will see that things will definitely go your way.


  6. What do you respond to a new job that you see the pay rise is too small to justify a chance or what I am looking for?

    • Hi John,
      With regards to your question, it all depends with the individual. If the pay it is too low and yet one has enough experience then it justifiable if one decides to look for other options.


  7. I got a job and moved out already but was recalled back by my GM who gave me a counter offer after 8 months of being away , What i realized is i had to put in more than i did to prove my worth coming back which my boss appreciated and realized that it was worth getting me back . I also agree that not unless you work extra had your boss may decide to train someone to frustrate you . For my case this has been different but there is a lot of hard working.

    • Hi Walter,
      Thanks sharing your story.
      Our advice is that one should think critically before accepting such offers because the outcome can either be fruitful or the opposite but all in all life is a risk which at some point forces us to take. All the best though.


  8. It’s true, I was called by top management to consider my resignation with salary increase but I had to move on with my decision because I knew what was coming after it. The decision I made paid the price and am very comfortable in new offices and new challenges.

    • Hi Nelson,
      Thank you for sharing your sentiments to us. For you to arrive to that decision you definitely took some thoughts into it and we are happy that the decision you made you made was in your favor. We wish you all the best in your new office.


  9. One of the keyear reasons why people leave companies, not jobs, is because of work environment. Money plays a role but not so much as a respectful conducive environment. This why a counter offer just based on financial services may boomerang on one if taken. Because all the other aspects of the job remains as is.
    Do no take the role unless absolutely sure you made the decision.

    • Hi Ishmael,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. We do appreciate your participation and we urge you to continue.


  10. I was a victim of my employer finding out I was looking for a job so I was victimized and scrutinized to every detail and I was demoted and employer arranged for renewal of contract to check my performance yet for 2yrs there was no issue I haven’t given up my careers should not be linked to bosses who play enemy/ friend.

    • Hi Rachael,
      Thank you for sharing this and our take on this is that you should take measures when leaving. Read here http://bit.ly/1VpLDSL to know more. We also appreciate that you love your career and you are persistent and if you see your self growing then continue however, also bear in mind that you should not stick to one place, your talent can be utilized somewhere where you are appreciated and not that restricted.


    • You’re welcome Andrew.
      We are glad you are now well equipped.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more timely articles.


    • You’re welcome Amos,
      Implement the tips you have read here, and it will work for you.


  11. very enlightening. would like an article of examples of side hustle jobs(stress free) while in employment.

    • You’re welcome Betty.
      We hope the tips you have leaned here, you will put them into practice.


  12. I have had the feeling of wanting to work for companies I have worked for in the past, not because I fear the challenges I face in my present role but because I feel that I now have the required skills that I may have lacked then and have something to prove as well, is there a downside to this?

    • Hi Owais,
      Thank you for reading.
      With regards to your question, you will find that in most cases, most companies policies prohibit an employer to return to the previous company they once worked for. The skills you have learned gives you an opportunity to apply for other jobs but from a different company because going back to the same company assuming this is the case, will make you look desperate especially if you had left in a bad foot. We hope we have answered you and if you have more questions, feel free to get back to us.


  13. Yeah…..all this is definitely the truth. And for one to think about changing their job they must have thought about it carefully, considered all factors both positive and negative, gone through the hustle of dropping CV and sending applications to different companies, prepare for the interview, then just throw away all this more so if you have gotten the job.??? This is the devil trying to control you now…

    • Hi Lucciannah,
      Thanks alot for participating, we appreciate your comments and yes..its important to think critically. One can even go that extra mile in seeking advice before making that important decision.


    • Hi Allan,
      Thank you for reading.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more informative articles.


  14. In case you attended 2 interviews and got offers from both, how do u communicate to the one that you turn down

    • Hi Peter,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      To answer you, just be sincere and say that after giving intense thought,
      you decided to accept a position at another company. If you have referrals who would fit best in that position you can assist and hand them over but more importantly make sure that you thank them for the opportunity and you will stay in touch.


  15. It has helped me greatly, I once experienced it, it was not easy loosing my job after accepting the counter offer.

    • Hi Carriebell,
      Thank you for sharing this testimony.
      We are glad you are now enlightened.


    • We are glad you are convinced and when the offer comes, you will be well equipped on how to go about it.


    • Hi Lawrence,

      Thank you for reading.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more informative articles.


  16. I am happy to have stuck to my decision. 90% of the counter offers is never about the individual but what an organisation stands to gain with the counter offer.

    • Hi Mimi,
      Thank you for sharing your sentiments.
      Your opinions are very important to us..keep on sharing them.


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