Dilemma - Take a New Job or Accept a Counteroffer?

Employees are often faced with a dilemma when their skills are highly sought after - to take a new job offer and career challenge, or accept a counteroffer and stay put?  Should I stay, or….

You sit down with your boss and hand in your notice. It may be an awkward conversation but it will become even more uncomfortable if you are asked to stay. “You might be offered better incentives, a big pay rise or a promotion, but as enticing as the counteroffer may be, you shouldn’t accept”, says Richard Wheeler. “You need to be true to the core reasons behind why you felt ready to leave in the first place; a salary hike won’t alter these things, and wider assurances in respect of addressing changes are being made……by who exactly?!  And why now?”  

Your employer may realize they don’t want to lose you and so they need to take steps to persuade you to stay, but the counteroffer is a knee jerk reaction.


One way to avoid this is not to disclose the salary you’re being offered by the other company.  Conversely, if you decide to disclose to your boss the new salary, he or she may realize that the new salary is the hook pulling you away from the company. And in divulging this information and subsequently having your salary hiked, you’ll have to weigh the risks and benefits, and determine what the best decision is for you.  In short, though while it’s flattering to be so sought-after, it’s probably not worth the risk to stay.

Consider the reason(s) you were looking for a new job in the first place. Was it only about money? Perhaps you are looking for a new challenge, new colleagues, a new corporate culture, to be re-energized, greater responsibility, remote working, less politics, the opportunity to work with different technologies, perhaps even in a new sector.  Have the core reasons why you were looking to move truly been addressed?


If you accept a counteroffer, you may be scrutinized within your organization. Now, everyone knows you were looking for a new job. If they are paying you more, or offering you the terms you requested, your employer is going to expect something significant in return. How motivated will you be to deliver?”

If money was the only motivating factor in looking for a new job, obviously a counteroffer is something to consider. However, there is a risk that your existing job may change significantly and you need to be ready for those potential consequences.

Consider all of the angles and make a decision you can live with. The bottom line is if you are going to leave, leave.

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