No matter how long you have been looking for a new job or whether the job you have just been offered is the perfect job for you, it can still be an unnerving experience to receive a counter offer. Knowing how to handle the situation can make the transition from one role to another much smoother. If you are unprepared it can cause you to question your decision making, so we have carefully selected three key things to remember when handling a counter offer:
1. Be prepared.
Prior to handing in your notice, have an answer ready to the question ‘What will it take for you to stay?’ and be truthful. The chances are, you aren’t just leaving because of money, so be clear to yourself and your employer as to what the reasons are. It’s most likely to be the case that if other changes could have been made which would have made a difference to you staying in the role, they would have been. Any changes made in response to a resignation are reactive and unlikely to be long lived.
2. Be polite.
It’s often argued that the principle of being offered more money to stay is just plain rude. After all, surely your employer should just pay you what you’re worth, shouldn’t they? Why should it take your resignation for them to offer you more money? Be realistic. Unfortunately, it is the way of the business world that most employers are not looking for people to give more money to. It’s also the nature of the marketplace across many industries that new joiners to an organisation will be paid more than their existing or outgoing counterparts. If your current employer does present a counter offer to you, it is most likely to be a reaction to concerns over the effort and cost of finding a replacement, rather than a particular desire to keep you. However, there may be a time in the future when you want to return to this employer, or maybe you will come across this manager in another organisation, so at all times, be polite and professional in your responses.
3. Look to the future.
Save yourself a lot of effort and emotional energy. Have a very clear focus on the reasons you have decided to take on a new challenge. Whatever is offered by your current employer, will it match the excitement and challenge of taking on a new environment and role? If you have done your homework on your new opportunity you will have already satisfied in your mind what the financial and emotional reasons are for you to make the move. The very fact you have made the decision to move on should make you look at your current employer in a new light. If you do accept a counter offer, this could come across as a statement of greed instead of loyalty, which ultimately won’t impress your employer or any future employer. Isn’t it better to be recognised as a person of principle and commitment, than one who can be bought?
So; be prepared, be polite and look to the future. Do what is right for you and enjoy the prospect of getting your teeth into a new and exciting opportunity with the knowledge that you haven’t left anything behind but that you are starting the next chapter in your adventure.