When you hand your notice in to an employer, they face immediate pressures to ensure that it will be ‘business as usual’ when you go. One of the first things most employers do then, is ‘counter offer’ or pressure you to stay.
Counter offers can come in numerous forms. Here are a few things to look out for:
- More money or bonuses
- Better working hours or working conditions
- Sudden offers of promotion
- Increased responsibilities
- Higher budgets or stronger resources
These offers sometimes don’t come. Instead you may be pressured into staying, or both! You may be told ‘they can’t handle it without you’ or ‘you can’t go, the company needs you’. Whatever comes, you need to remain strong and focused.
Firstly, remember why you looked for this new role in the first place. Remind yourself of everything you were thinking when you wanted a new job. It’s easy to lose focus of that once you have had an offer of a new position because your mind set on working life has become positive again (because of the offer!). That positivity might make you think the old job isn’t that bad! Remember the opportunities you have at the new position and keep it in mind.
Secondly, don’t let yourself feel guilty. Many people will feel guilty when they leave an employer. There will be strong bonds between you and your colleagues and you don’t want to let them down. However, moving on in your career is perfectly acceptable. Getting the most out of your working life is your right and not something someone should begrudge you.
And finally, consider the situation form your employer’s point of view. You have handed your notice in and they are now in a jam. They will have lost confidence in you because you want to leave, but they need time to get a replacement. If they promise you the earth and keep you there, they have time to re-evaluate and reconsider. The promotion you were promised might then evaporate. You may not get the bigger budget or the better resourcers. You might not get what you were promised.
Why? Because they have had time to consider their possibilities and find suitable people that can take up the pressure. Keeping you on will have solved the initial jam they were in, but should you now choose to leave it will not be a problem. Therefore make sure any promises are agreed in writing before you decline your offer.
Obviously this won’t happen in every situation, but it is a possibility. If you stay and find that the old pressures return, accepting the ‘counter offer’ will mean you missed out on a great opportunity so think carefully before making any decision.