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Counter Offers

If your employer is interested in the progression of your career, you will know it before you threaten to quit. If it's only afterwards that they try to convince you, it's likely to be pure manipulation and numerous risks prevail:

Counter Offers
  1. You're not considered a team player, and can be passed up for the best future opportunities, laid off as a non-team member, etc. Grudges are real, especially when people feel they were blackmailed.

  2. Counters frequently do not include an increase in pay, just "promises", and sometimes just for sport.

  3. Future raises may be less to compensate for "counter" increase.

  4. Companies don't change for one person, although they may flatter and make promises to do so.

  5. Suitor company is damaged significantly - you burn a bridge - they must start the search over.

  6. You miss a career opportunity to grow, diversify, or start off in a positive situation without baggage.

While your manager may love you - his/her motivations are:

  1. Protecting his/her position or status (CYA).

  2. Short term use - of your skills and knowledge

  3. Grudges can be held for; lack of blind loyalty blackmail for a counter offer

  4. You may be cheaper (even with a raise) than they could recruit from a competitor.

We advise that a person anticipate a counter offer, and:

  1. Keep the counter offer in perspective, regarding your employer's motives and methods.

  2. Consider current employer's options in advance of offer/acceptance of the new employer's position.

  3. Once the new company's offer is accepted - no re-negs, keep the commitment. The party that truly stands to be injured is the "spurned suitor". They:
    have turned down other candidates,
    have lost a great deal of time,
    have made plans around you,
    may have taken someone out of the job in question, and have to start the search over.


If a company made and then rescinded an offer, after the candidate had accepted and resigned from his/her previous position, the candidate would be left out in the cold. The reverse is also true and can be damaging to all parties concerned.

"Resignation" Advice

The best way to resign is to be positive and firm about leaving - careful not to leave the issue open for discussion. To do so runs previous manager "through hoops" to get counter offer approved, and makes it much more difficult to turn down later.

In these days of decreasing company loyalty to employees and less "Lifetime Employment" emphasis - professionals must be proactive about management of their own careers, and not trust career management to employers. If an opportunity presents itself, the decision to accept is well thought out, and a commitment is made, keep a steady course and don't look back.

Source: R. Gaines Baty Associates, Inc.
Global Executive Search Services