How to Handle a Counter-offer


Leaving your current job is a big decision that requires careful considerations. Once you decide to quit, what you need to do is not just handing in your resignation. You should also anticipate your boss’s reaction so that you know how to respond. One scenario could be your boss asks you to reconsider and presents you a counter-offer in hopes of making you stay. So what would you do?

Accept or decline?
Most people find the question hard to answer because of the perceived outcome the decision brings. Accepting or declining a counter offer can send signals to both your current company and the company planning to hire you and unfortunately they’re not too positive. Here’s why:

  • Loyalty in question
    The moment your current company drafts you a counter-offer, your loyalty to them comes into question. Even if you accept the offer and decided to stay with the company, the fact remains that you made an effort to look for a new job. Even if the company presents you with a counter-offer that you find acceptable, your relationship with them is forever altered.
  • Burning bridges unnecessarily
    Another thing you should consider when you accept a counter-offer is the fact that you’re actually rejecting the offer you have with the other company. This can potentially hurt your professional relationship with the new company even before you actually join them.

What’s stopping you
Accepting a counter-offer can make you forget about your reasons for resigning in the first place. If this happens, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why resign?
    Always go back to the time when you decided to resign. What are the things that brought you to the dilemma you are having right now? What changed? What hasn’t? Asking these questions will allow you to retrace your steps and better understand your motivations for resigning. That same motive should also be your answer. You should have enough solid reasons to accept the counter-offer. If you don’t, then it’s best to politely decline.
  • What does your future hold?
    Keep an eye on your future and ask yourself which option is likely to offer you a better one. Will accepting the counter-offer change the way things are going in your current job or will moving on bring you one-step closer to your goals. In the end, make your choice based on what will bring you more happiness and professional growth.

Final answer: yes or no
Whether you accept or decline the counter-offer depends on what is best for your professional growth. Remember to weigh your options carefully and decide on what is more beneficial to you in the long term.

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