If you don’t know what a counter-offer is, allow me to explain:

If you are currently working for an employer, and while working begin interviewing with another company and then receive an offer from the second company, and then your current employer offers to pay you more than the offer you’ve received from the second company, your employer has just given you a Counter-Offer.

Don’t take it! I’ll explain why:

Every time I have ever worked with a candidate who accepted a counter-offer, they’ve regretted it.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

I had a candidate in Colorado at one time looking for a new position.

She had interviewed with another company a year prior, but accepted a counter-offer from her current employer.

Now, she’s stuck. She wanted to leave her current employer, but the other company that had made an offer now had no interest in her.

Another example is a candidate (we’ll call him Joe) I’ve known for over a year received an offer from a client of mine.

Joe then used the offer as ammunition to receive better pay and compensation with his current boss, turned down the offer, and now he still reaches out to me to see if I can find him a new position because, guess what: his boss didn’t follow through on his promises.

Joe used my client to negotiate better compensation, Joe’s boss made promises to keep Joe, Joe turned down the offer, and now Joe’s boss doesn’t want to follow through.

I even once heard a story of a company who offered a counter offer to one of their employees, waited two weeks, and then fired the employee out of spite for daring to interview with their competitors.

The majority of people who accept counter offers are gone within 6-12 months, either because the initial conditions causing them to look for a new position persist OR because once the company finds someone else who can do the same job for less money, and then fire you.

Think about it: let’s say you bring in $60,000/year at your current company.

Whether or not you’ve been receiving fair pay aside, you and your boss have agreed at one point in time on this salary.

Then, you interview with another company, and the second company offers you $65,000. You then go to your boss to put in your 2-week’s notice and the following conversation commences:

  • Boss: “How much did they offer you?”
  • You: “$65,000.”
  • Boss: “I’ll pay you $70,000.”

Wait a minute! If your boss thought you should receive $70K for your performance, your boss should have ALREADY been paying you $70K! The boss is only offering $70K as a short-term fix. Your boss still believes you DESERVE $60K.

What happens if someone with similar skills applies to your position asking for $60K? Your boss will fire you and hire the new applicant at $60K/year.

Some quick facts on counter-offers:

I hope this helps you in your professional endeavors, and I wish you the best.

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