What About Counter Offers?

Counter Offers in Chicago's Insurance Industry

Whether you’re not happy in your existing position or have maxed out your earning potential, job changes are a fact of life – now more than ever.

You’ve got an offer that you’re happy with and now it’s time to give your current employer two-week notice. Next thing you know, you’re sitting in your boss’s office and they’re telling you they don’t want you to leave – asking what it will take to get you to stay.

As a general rule, the answer should be a respectful, “Thank you but no. It’s time for me to move on.”

Why turn down a generous raise, new office, extra PTO, or any number of potential perks or advancement? Because it likely won’t last. The honeymoon was already over.

Here are some of the things to think about when entertaining a counter offer:

  • Counter offers often come as a knee jerk reaction. A need to keep a person in that role. In many employer’s opinions, this is a temporary fix to a longer term problem – finding a less costly and more dedicated replacement for you
  • Your coworkers know what just went down. Some may view it as a salary grab or a way to jump ahead in line. Beyond that, they know you were on your way out the door but are still there –potential for tense coworker interaction is high.
  • Whatever non-monetary reasons led you to seek new opportunities, do not kid yourself that those issues will magically go away. Even when employers pledge to make changes, they’ve been doing things the ‘old’ way a lot longer than you’ve been around and will likely continue with that model.
  • When a potential new employer puts forth time effort and expense to meet and vet you, for them to offer you a job is a big decision. Once an offer is accepted (signed or verbal), there is an expectation that a deal has been struck. Changing your mind usually closes the door with that employer forever.
  • Being involved in this whole process will impact future promotions, salary increases, and leave you more vulnerable if layoffs are on the horizon.

Sometimes things will work out just fine, but switching employers is something that should be well thought through from start to finish. If you’re not committed to a new endeavor, best to not even polish that resume.

When you’re ready to make a move; prepare thoroughly, act purposefully, find that next step in your career, and wish your current employer the best in their future endeavors. Better to leave positively than to stay uneasily.