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.
Is it okay to accept 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 counteroffer may come with just that.
But, is that all you wanted?
Here is why it is ill-advised to accept a counteroffer;
1. Job dissatisfaction continues
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 in 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.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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 picking 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 counteroffer, 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.