I was recently in a discussion about counter offers when having lunch with friends.  The discussion was prompted by the question of would you take a counter offer from your current company or not?  It is an interesting question to think about.

To provide some background, counter offers are when you notify your current employer that you have decided to end your employment with them and pursue a job at a different company where you have received an offer. As a result, your current employer offers you something to entice you to stay, maybe more money, a promotion, better hours, a bonus, etc.  It is a counter offer to your new job offer.

If what is being offered in the counter offer is something you have been asking for or wanting for a while it can be very tempting to accept the counter offer.  It can save you some time and potential angst in learning a new job, meeting new people, proving yourself at a new company, etc.  But will it be worth it in the long run to stay with your current employer?

Various resources indicate that if a person accepts the counter offer and stays with his/her current employer, it typically doesn’t end the way he/she wants.  Here are some thoughts on potentially why:

  1. Once an employer knows you are considering other jobs, your loyalty or commitment is questionable.  That questionable commitment is going to impact any future decision the employer makes about your role at the company whether it is for a promotion or when considering cutbacks.
  2. You may have a feeling of being bought or that you used bartering tactics in your career.  This can be a personal blow to your pride and/or self-confidence.  This is something to consider if it makes you uncomfortable or eats at your conscience.
  3. The relationships with your coworkers may change.  If word gets out you were ready to leave and are now staying, your peers are going to question your reasons, what you got in return for staying, and how long you will really stick around.  In short, your peer relationships may take a turn for the worst.

There are many reasons a counter offer may or may not work out.  In the end it is a very personal decision that should not be taken lightly.

Tell us what you think? Have you ever accepted a counter offer?  How did it work out?

Nancy Manley

About Nancy Manley


Nancy enjoys helping people find a job that makes them feel complete. She thrives on sharing information that helps candidates become successful employees and engaged workers.