You’ve succeeded in getting through all the tough parts of finding a new job. You’ve updated your CV, polished off your folio, smashed it at the interview and now you’ve been offered that dream role and you’ve told your previous employer that you are ready to move on. All sorted.
Then you’re asked for a chat! Here comes the point where your employer throws down the enticing counter offer on the table to make you reconsider your resignation. Remember why you were leaving in the first place! Really though, this is not uncommon nor is it an easy situation to be in. There is no denying that this can be extremely tempting especially in the creative and digital space, given you know the brand assets back to front, you know the surroundings and you’ve figured out how to use the coffee machine! Does this outweigh the reason you decided to leave?
"Should I stay or should I go?!"
To shed some light on the situation statistically, HAYS published that 36% of the 2,752 organisations surveyed in their recently released Hays Salary Guide (representing over 2.6 million employees) said on average 46% of people who were counter offered left anyway, 4% accepted the counter offer but stayed less than 3 months and 21% stayed between 3 and 12 months. Just 29% stayed longer than 12 months. Most understood why they were leaving and others just needed to be reminded. Sometimes it can be a positive reason, for self development or a new environment, still a reason all the same.
At Artisan we’ve seen it all too many times, as in the creative and digital space talent in valuable. It’s important to weigh up the offer along with the new offer. Which one makes the best use of your talents and which will develop your career in the direction that you wish to take it? What is your attitude to each business? How do you feel about the bosses? The cultures? Financial rewards?
There is probably going to be an extensive pro’s and con’s list... Coming from a place of understanding we want to give you a few things to consider before making a decision.
Things to consider:
Is it just about the money?
Accepting a role elsewhere may not just be about the money, you could be looking for more creative freedom, more recognition or any other key motivator. Unless salary was the sole purpose for looking elsewhere, counter offers are rarely the answer. Most people who accept counter offers when money was not the only reason find themselves looking again shortly after as things do not tend to change. At this stage that perfect role is gone.
Where was the recognition?
If this offer is being put to you now because your employer sees an increase in salary and responsibilities as what you deserve. Where was this recognition before you were leaving? Part of the initial frustration from the outset may have been that you feel undervalued, then you’re better off at an organisation that pro-actively recognises you.
What will happen to the relationship?
Your current employer now knows that you are unhappy and are looking elsewhere. You have unfortunately demonstrated that you have the potential to be disloyal to the company. The work you have put in to be a team player may now be null and void.
What will the future look like?
The circumstances that prompted you to leave in the first place will almost always creep back up in 6-12 months, which puts you right back where you were before. If your issues where not addressed before-hand it could also point giant warning signs at your employers culture and communication channels, is this going to change?
How will effect your peer dynamic?
Unless you have a a solid work relationship or buddy that just does not want to see you go, it seems to be the case that your relationships will change. Taking it right back to remaining a team player. It does sounds doom and gloom but peer group acceptance will be altered.
How will it effect you financially?
If you are offered a counter offer it can usually be considered by an employer as an early raise. As majority of businesses have strict policies and budgets meaning your future raise could have just been bumped forward… Now this won’t need to be revisited for a while.
What are you leaving behind?
Although majority of things to consider point to refusing a counter offer and moving forward, working at an organisation for a good period of time means you’ve build up equity, whether its the relationships or your service record. Are you ready to leave this behind?
Be aware that most people make the most pivotal improvements in their career progression, immediate and long term earning potential by making an external move.
If you decide to decline then take the counter offer in your stride and reaffirm your intention to leave. Remain honest and use it as an opportunity to thank your previous employer for the offer and reiterate that while you enjoyed your time with the organisation, you remain firm in your decision to leave. There’s little point at this stage in burning bridges by listing everything you felt was wrong with the organisation and your role. You never know when you’ll encounter your old manager again.
Have you ever had an experience where you have had to refuse or accept a counter offer? How did it turn out for you? Let use know... Email our community manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.