Why NOT to take that counter offer

Many people find themselves at a crossroads when their current employer responds to their resignation with a counter offer. In our experience, we have found that most people who accept counter offers find themselves looking for a new job a few months later.

Although you may be enticed to stay, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t accept.

You’re feeling undervalued

For many, feeling undervalued in their role is the catalyst behind looking elsewhere for a new role.  If it takes your resignation for your employer to offer you what you're worth, you may be better off with an organisation that is less reactive. Instead, go with the opportunity more likely to help you fulfill your career ambitions and a company which will value you as an important asset.


A decision to leave usually isn’t just about salary. Typically, there are other issues at play, like company culture and management, that an increase in pay won’t remedy. If you’re somewhat richer, but still miserable, is it really worth staying? If you feel you will be genuinely happier elsewhere, follow your gut and decline the counter offer.

Trust issues

Once your employer knows that you’ve interviewed elsewhere, you plant a seed of doubt into their mind. They may no longer view you as a team player, and could bear that in mind down the road. You never know if loyalty will be a factor in a future promotion or other personnel decision. It could also simply make things awkward with your manager if they know you've looked to leave. In some instances this may not create an issue, but be mindful if you think taking that counter offer could create an elephant in the room.


This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you do accept a counter offer that results in a substantial increase in salary, you may end up being overpaid compared to the market rate for your level of experience. This could make an external move in the future challenging, as your remuneration won’t accurately reflect your value in the market.
When speaking with your manager about your resignation, you should make a decision and stick with it. Although a counter offer may seem welcoming, as you’ve built up equity in the organisation, most people experience the most growth by making an external move. Know what you'd be willing to consider before starting the conversation, then stick to your plans.

What next? 

If you would like to peruse more insights or have other career movement questions, please browse our library of helpful career advice. If you'd like further help in your next job search, please contact our team of dedicated recruitment consultants today.

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