Arlington Sports Conditioning - Pete Leibman

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Why You Should Never Accept a Counter-Offer When You Resign

Imagine that you have been presented with a compelling offer to join a new company. After a lot of thought, you decide to accept.

When you resign, your current company is very disappointed. They really don’t want to lose you. So, they offer to match (or beat) your offer from this new company. Now, you find yourself tempted to accept the counter-offer and stay where you are.

Don’t do it.

According to some reports, less than 20% of people who accept a counter-offer from their current employer are still with the company one year later. Many people who accept a counter-offer still end up leaving soon for a new role. Others don’t leave on their own terms. They end up getting let go.

Here are two reasons why you should never accept a counter-offer when you resign:

Accepting a counter-offer places a bulls-eye on your back.

When you resign, there is a chance that your current employer will make a counter-offer to try to entice you to stay. Replacing you would be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you are a senior executive, or if you have experience that is unique and valuable.

If you receive a counter-offer, you might be tempted to interpret it as a sign of your current employer’s commitment to you. In reality, it might just be a stall tactic while your company tries to find or groom someone to replace you.

Regardless of what your company tells you, they will likely resent having to make you a counter-offer. In addition, they will also question your long-term loyalty. As a result, it will be natural for them to start thinking about if/how to replace you.

Resigning from a company forever changes a relationship. There is no going back, despite what either side might say or want to think.

Accepting a counter-offer damages your reputation.

In order to accept a counter-offer, you would have to go back on a promise to accept a role with a new company. Doing so would suggest that you are indecisive or that you lack integrity and are willing to break a promise.

This would not only make you look bad to the company that you had planned to join. It would also make you look bad to the company that you had planned to leave. You would be branded as someone who backed out of an agreement to join a new company.

Final Thought

Accepting a counter-offer from your current company would probably not address the reasons why you had planned to leave in the first place. If you recently decided to accept a role with a new company, chances are that money was not the only factor. You were probably attracted to the opportunity to work with some new people and to take on some new challenges.

Once you make the decision to leave a company, stay firm. Accepting a counter-offer from your current employer rarely works out well.

About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

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