This topic is one of the most turbulent to navigate and as a career coach one of the hardest to manage if it's not nipped in the bud early.
Firstly: What is a counter offer?
Basically, it’s an offer given by your current employer, in response to an offer received from a potential employer. Your current business may offer you one of a number of things to retain your services and demonstrate why you are a valuable member of the business.
Why is it challenging?
When your current company comes to you with a counter offer it is in reaction to a set of outside circumstances. You've made the decision to leave and have your reasons for doing so - but this confuses the issue. There will normally be the promise of a promotion, almost always an increase in salary as a reassurance that you are still valuable to the organisation. But therein lies the problem - it's reactive! The company has not come to you proactively to talk about being promoted, give you more money or reassure you of your value. It then makes you question, should I stay? A promotion sounds good... Maybe this is the best place for me? You end up forgetting why you wanted to move all those weeks or months ago, end up accepting the counter offer, and in most cases leave within 6 months as the promises made didn't come to fruition and the extra cash didn't address any of the initial reasons you were looking to leave.
What can you do?
Our advice is simple to any candidate who comes to the team looking to make a move. Have you discussed possible internal opportunities within your current company? Is there anything they could do to keep you? Have you really reflected on why you want to leave? Is it the work, the culture, the leadership? All of them perhaps!? Your disgruntlement could be easily fixed by an internal move, going onto a new project or whatever your reasons for looking are.
Once (and only once!) you've done this, it’s the right time to engage us to help you with your next career move. If you've done the above, you know exactly where you stand with your current company, you know what their vision is for you and you understand your value in their eyes. By doing this proactively at the outset, if you do receive a counter offer you will know that it’s just a panic reaction by your current employer not wanting to lose a good person, rather than it's the right place for your future development.
If you’ve kicked off the internal conversations, and you know you’ve already jumped the counter-offer hurdle - please reach out to me on the below details. I’d love to discuss the market with you!
Senior Consultant | Strategy
+61 (0)2 8986 3107