Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide

Trouble letting go of your BlackBerry? Still cutting the crusts off your sandwiches? Eating California Rolls as adventurous as it gets? Favourite tie seen better days? Time to finally kick the “ex” to the curb? Change is a constant. Change can be good – especially in marketing. We need to move with the times and keep up with the trends.

The very same could be said for our careers. Stats tell us that the average North American can hold up to 10 different jobs or careers in their lifetime. This means that coming and going can be fairly frequent, and that you may be faced with counteroffers along the way. Here’s 4 tips for how (and why) YOU should ‘counter any counter’ with a “no.”

1. Your reasons for leaving have NOT changed. (Unless, of course, the problem was wholly financial.) Give it 6-8 months and you’ll find yourself standing in the same place—grossly unhappy and cringing for a change.

2. Office chemistry will take a hit.  Your once close office mates may view you suspiciously or resentfully, as they are now aware of your comparatively inflated salary. Leaders and executives may view you similarly, with a study from the Creative Group stating that 28% believed those looking elsewhere are ‘disloyal.’

3. The company’s trust in you will waver. If there’s a shift in office politics, suspicious eyes may fall on you and you could be the first to go. As career counsellor Arlene Hirsch puts it, “your motives will be suspect from that point on since your boss will wonder whether your resume is still on the street.”

4. Being offered more money is probably a subtle way of telling you have been underpaid during your time there. An increase in salary can be an admission you were being underpaid (and still would be if you didn’t try to defect.)

As Forbes’ author Hal Reiter says, “In my 25 years of experience, I have learned that accepting a counteroffer is usually career suicide.”

Anyone have any counter-offer wisdom to share?

Counteroffer Stats


Lego photo by pasukaru76