Career Suicide?

Accepting Your Counter-offer May Just Be That.......

I often wonder why all employers don't make the work, challenge, progression, team and environment so rewarding and exciting for their employees, that THE conversation doesn't need to take place!

Why do you need to hand your notice after accepting another offer for your current employer to suddenly give you the pay rise, the promotion, the new projects that you have been craving?!

Why you ask?

For those who don't understand what I mean, I define a counter offer simply as an inducement from your current employer to get you to stay after you've announced your intention to take another job. Some will accept it and some won't, but in my experience and from speaking to a number of people over the years, those who accept the counter offer, as tempting as it may be, are seen as committing CAREER SUICIDE!

In my opinion, and some may disagree, but accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride, to simply be bought at the last minute.

So why do counter offers actually occur?

Let's put ourselves in the mindset of the employer/line manager and together understand what really goes through their thoughts when someone in his/her team quits. This is the key because if we are honest with ourselves, when somebody resigns, it's a direct reflection on the employer. Unless you are a pain and a destructive team member (and there are some out there), losing one of the good guys in the team will go down like a lead balloon if you are allowed to go.

In the mind of the employer, he/she is saying to himself:

  • "This couldn't happen at a worse time."
  • "This is one of my best people. If I let him quit now, it'll wreak havoc on the morale of the department."
  • "If he/she goes now, I won't meet my targets and therefore my end of year bonus won't be paid."
  • "I'm working as hard as I can, and I don't need to do his work, too."
  • "If I lose another good employee, the company might decide to 'lose' me too."
  • "Maybe I can keep him on until I find a suitable replacement."

So what does your employer say or do? They simply play with your mind and do what has to be done to keep you from leaving until they are ready, not when you are. That's human nature.

  • "I'm really shocked. I thought you were as happy with us as we are with you. Let's discuss it before you make your final decision."
  • "I've been meaning to tell you about the great plans we have for you. But they have been confidential until now."
  • "The MD has you in mind for some exciting and expanding responsibilities."
  • "Your raise was scheduled to go into effect next quarter but we'll make it effective immediately."
  • "You're going to work for whom?"
  • "Are you sure you want to risk moving to a new role? What happens if BREXIT happens, and the company you are joining changes their mind about their projects. Think about your and your familys security"

Unfortunately, it's also human nature to want to stay unless your work life is abject misery.

Career changes, like all ventures into the unknown, are tough. That's why employers know they can usually keep you around by pressing the right buttons. Selfish from them I say.

So before you commit CAREER SUICIDE, what type of company do you want to work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?

 Please consider the following very carefully:

  • No matter what the company says when making its counter-offer, you'll always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for whatever reason), you'll lose your status as a "team player" and your place in the inner ircle.
  • Counter-offers are usually nothing more than stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.
  • Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short-term because of the raise, promotion or promises made to keep you.
  • Counter-offers are only made in response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions?
  • Decent and well-managed companies don't make counteroffers... EVER! Their policies are fair and equitable. They won't be subjected to "counter-offer coercion" or what they perceive as blackmail.

 Are you ready to commit CAREER SUICIDE or are you ready to commit yourself to CAREER REWARDS?

Jody Marks, Founding Director, MRJ Recruitment