People Solutions for the Decorative Building Products Industry

What The Heck Was I Thinking?

Man shouting, pulling hair

The Counter Offer Trap
True story – In my rookie year of recruiting, my candidate received a great offer from one of my best clients and accepted the offer within 24 hours.  Right before he was to give notice we reviewed the “Counter Offer” trap and he was sure that there would be no counter offer. He was ready to move on. At least that is what he said.  A few days after my candidate gave his notice, he called to tell me that his company had offered him that promotion of a life time – the promotion he had wanted for years. His company was relocating him and his young family from Portland to Boston. Three months later I got a call from that candidate. His company had moved him from west coast to east coast and before he got his household good unpacked – they fired him. New boss, new strategy, new direction, new leadership. What a nightmare for him and his family!!! He remembered our conversation about counter offers and expected that I would never work with him again, but wanted me to use his story when I talk to candidates about counter offers. So he became the poster child of reasons not to accept a counter offer.

So, if you ever receive a counter offer, consider these things before you say yes:
• If you are offered more money and a promotion AFTER you have given resignation ask yourself, “Why wasn’t I worthy of a raise or that promotion before I gave notice?” Is this an advance on your next raise?
• Remember that companies prefer to part ways with you, not the other way around.
• Once you accept a counter offer, you are also considered “disloyal” to your company. The next time there is a layoff, your name will be on that list.
• In fact statistics show that four out of five people who accept counter-offers are gone within the year, or like my candidate get fired before the household goods are unpacked.

Advice before you give your notice – take charge of your resignation.
• Resign in writing and hand it directly to your boss.
• Tell your boss that you have given this new opportunity a lot of thought and you believe this is best for your career, and your family.
• Don’t share a lot of detail about the new opportunity. That only gives your boss insight into how to sway your decision if they are so inclined.
• Tell your boss that you appreciate what you have learned from him.
• Let your boss know that your decision is final.

Your decisions to make a career change need to be well thought out and logical, not based on emotion. Make sure you are making a sound decision to leave your current company based on what is best for you, you career advancement and your family.

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