Whether you’re handing in your resignation so you can accept a new job opportunity, or you’ve decided enough is enough in your current job and want out, the chances are that you’ll be given a counteroffer. Though it may be tempting to listen to what they have to say, and feel flattered by a larger pay packet, the truth is, more often than not it is better to reject a counteroffer and move onto pastures new. Below, we’ve put together some reasons why… 

You’re leaving for a reason 

Unless you’re leaving your current role exclusively because of your salary, the chances are that a counteroffer won’t go far enough to solve any underlying issues or problems. Perhaps you’re unhappy with your working conditions, don’t feel supported by your boss, or you’re unfulfilled in your current position. If the only thing a counteroffer changes is your salary, those problems will remain, though you’ll feel you have to deal with them to make up for your increased pay. Sure, for the first few weeks after accepting a counteroffer, you might feel like you’ve got a bit more energy, but that’ll soon wear off when you realise that nothing has really changed. 

Their intentions might not be pure 

It’s natural for employers and HR departments to say what you want to hear when you tell them you’re leaving - so much so that you should really consider a counteroffer before you accept it outright. In the corporate world, counteroffers are sometimes used as a stall tactic - now they know you’re unhappy in the job, they’ll increase your remuneration package to stop you from causing disruption to a team with a last-minute resignation, and then look to fill your position with someone with the same skill set accepting a lower salary in a few months. Granted, not every employer adopts this tactic, but it’s something to consider if you’re tempted by a counteroffer. 

It doesn’t equal job satisfaction 

Receiving a counteroffer can be flattering: an organisation is telling you that you’re important to them and they don’t want to lose you. They’ll up your salary and perhaps throw in some additional benefits, and maybe promise to listen to your concerns and implement changes. It is certainly possible that a counteroffer can change your job and give you satisfaction, but a report from PRMIA suggests 80% of people who accept counteroffers leave their company within 6 months - and 90% within the first year. It might seem like an attractive offer, but if it’s not going to keep you engaged for years to come, then it’s probably time to look elsewhere. 
Progression could take a hit 
It’s easy to be tempted by a counteroffer and think of it as a fresh start, but it’s worth thinking about whether accepting a higher salary for the same job could impact your chance of career progression down the line. If you’re serious about a stable, long-term role, then accepting a counteroffer could make you less attractive when promotions come around. After all, if there is someone else in your department that will do the same job for less, then why would they choose you? It’s also worth thinking about job security - if your company faces hard times and needs to make cuts, they may see your increased salary as an unnecessary expense and favour employees who have shown more loyalty should they need to make redundancies. 
Your reputation might suffer 
Even if you’re on great terms with your employer, resigning and receiving a counteroffer will no doubt impact your relationship and perhaps your reputation. As we’ve just touched upon, you’ll be seen as less loyal than other staff who are happy and fulfilled, and the initial trust that you’d built up over the years might take a hit. The unfortunate reality is, that even in large organisations, threats of resignation can bruise egos, and managers and bosses will naturally change their opinion of you if they know you’ve been shopping around for another job. Professional, well-meaning employers will soon put it behind them, but not everyone will. 

You’re not being valued 

If an employer is willing to increase your salary as soon as you threaten to quit, then it’s worth considering whether you were being properly compensated for your skills and loyalty in the first place. And if it takes the threat of resigning to receive the salary and benefits you think you deserve, then do you want to work for a company that undervalues its staff at all? Before you accept a counteroffer, ask yourself why you’ve not been given a pay rise before - and do some research to see what you should be earning against industry standards. Giving you a counteroffer proves that the company could comfortably offer you more money and better benefits - they just chose not to. That says a lot about future career prospects, too. 
Refusing that counteroffer and looking for new opportunities? You can depend on the team at Tarn International to help you find something that better suits your needs and ambitions. 
We have a successful track record in global trade and customs compliance recruitment, and we’d love to match you to quality employers and leaders across the sector. 
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