Why Candidates Should Never Accept a Counteroffer

Why Candidates Should Never Accept a Counteroffer

If you announce plans to resign, it’s likely that your current company would make a counteroffer to try to get you to stay. It costs and time and money to hire and train new talent, so if you’re a high performer, the company will do whatever it takes to hang on to you. But when professionals accept counteroffers, it rarely ends well. Here are some reasons why candidates should never accept a counteroffer.

The Real Problems Persist

First, consider your reason for resigning. Is it just compensation? Maybe you’ve outgrown the role and the job no longer challenges you. Maybe you can’t stand your boss or colleagues. Maybe you just need a change. A pay rise won’t mitigate these issues. You’re still going to dislike your job (or manager), now you’re just making a little more money. The majority of people who accept a counteroffer end up leaving the company within the first year.


At first, when a company extends a counteroffer, it feels flattering. It makes you feel like they value the work you perform. Your manager might even tell you they can’t succeed without you. But consider this: why did the company need a threat of you leaving to pay you what you deserve, or to treat you the way you should be treated? The right company will treat you with respect from the beginning and continue to treat you well as you move up in the company.

Counteroffers Put a Target on Your Back

The company will be relieved when you first accept the counteroffer, but once the excitement wears off, things will change. Your managers and colleagues might start to view you as disloyal. They know you’ve spent time searching for other companies to work for and will always be wondering if you’re secretly planning to leave their company to work for a competitor.

The Real Reason for Their Offer

In most cases, the company will quietly start to look for your replacement. For them, the counteroffer is just a temporary solution. It helps them by giving them more time to search for a replacement, but how does the counteroffer really help you? Once trust is broken, it is almost impossible to get back.

No matter how tempting a counteroffer sounds, it is never a good idea to accept a counteroffer. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it. You’ve already made it known to managers and colleagues you were leaving a new job, and they may even begin to resent and distrust you. Before deciding on a counteroffer, think about what you really want out of your job and the company for which you work.


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