You’re at your wit’s end. After months of unhappiness on the job, you’ve finally taken the steps to dust off your CV and apply to open positions. You land an interview that goes well and you’re going to accept the offer. All seems well until you go to give your two-week notice and your current employer hits you with a counteroffer. Your boss says all the right things; “we’ll work on fixing the things making you unhappy on the job and give you a raise to stay.” You might be tempted to take the offer and stay put, but here’s why that might not be such a good idea.
No matter what the reason (or reasons) were that lead you to look for new employment, it’s unlikely that accepting a counteroffer will change what lead you to start looking. If compensation was the reason that led you to the job market, why did couldn’t your current employer see your value before you had to take time off to interview and consider accepting another offer? It’s also in your current employer’s best interest to keep you around (at least for a while.) It’s estimated that finding, interviewing, hiring, and eventually onboarding a new employee costs a company over $4,000, and that’s assuming the new employee is a good fit. It’s much cheaper to counter for a few thousand dollars to keep you onboard than going through the hassle of finding someone to replace you. More salary might be enough to let you temporarily forget about the reasons you wanted to leave, but it probably won’t be long before those reasons rear their ugly head again.
Maybe you were looking for more of a leadership role and that’s what started your job search? Accepting your current employer’s counteroffer is unlikely to leave you in a better position than before you started looking. Your boss might promise to promote you as part of the counteroffer but may have ulterior motives in doing so. If you accept a counteroffer, you could be left with a situation where you’re essentially grooming your replacement.
Accepting additional management responsibilities will likely mean training the person who took your place. This knowledge transfer benefits your employer in the event you leave or get terminated because you’ve trained someone to do your old job giving the company a suitable replacement that’s likely making less money. Even if your company doesn’t intend to replace you after a counteroffer, accepting one can put future promotions in jeopardy. Between your questioned loyalty and increased compensation, it’ll be much easier for your manager to deny your next promotion or raise as a result.
It’s a reality of the corporate world that people gossip and word will eventually get around that you were looking to leave. This can create internal tension that could cause others to treat you differently. Colleagues who feel strongly about the trajectory of the company might feel slighted that you tried to leave. Additionally, if your co-workers are aware that you intended to leave, it reflects poorly on management and could have other employees looking for the exit as well.
Simply put, most employers don’t take it well when employees state their desire to leave. They may see it as a sign of disloyalty and hold negative feelings towards you as a result. If management holds any resentment over your trying to leave, you could be the first one on the chopping block. Your company already knows you were looking elsewhere, potentially making you a prime target for blame if things go wrong.
The simple fact is, if you feel that it’s time for you to leave your current company, it probably is. If your reasons for leaving are money or responsibility, be up front and have that conversation internally first. If they can’t or are unwilling to address the situation, you don’t have to make up reasons as to why you’re looking and there won’t be any unexpected surprises when you go to give your notice.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, River Group Technologies is here to help. We’re a permanent staffing agency based out of Andover, Massachusetts that’s been helping people take the next step in their careers since 2001. We have relationships with top companies in New England who are actively looking for top technical talent. To learn more about our open positions, please visit www.rivergrouptech.com/jobs or give us a call at 978.474.9920.