You accepted the “job of your dreams.”  Excited about your new position, but sad to leave your current job, you tell your current boss you will be leaving.  Then unexpectedly, he offers you more money to stay.  What do you do?

The above scenario is all too real these days.  So many top talent employees are faced with a decision that could make or break their career.  However, in most situations, it is futile for your career to accept the counteroffer.  Why?  Consider the reasons you were looking or decided to move to another company – perhaps you were looking for more responsibility or more challenges, perhaps the company culture was not a great fit for you, or perhaps it would give you more life-balance and flexibility.

Whatever your reason, there was a reason.  When a counteroffer is thrown out there by the current employer, suddenly everything else seems dim in comparison.  Before you accept or weigh your options for the counteroffer, consider the following:

  • Typically, when you accept a counteroffer, you will no longer be looked at as someone that can be trusted. This can have a long lasting effect on your position with the company.  You may be passed over, and not even included in decisions that affect the company.
  • In most situations, the counteroffer will include more money, which may not necessarily be the reason you were looking forward to your new position. In fact, if your current boss offers more money for you to stay, why didn’t they give you a raise before now?
  • There is a possibility that you may face termination in the near future after accepting a counteroffer. Why?  Because most businesses feel it is easier to offer a counteroffer at that moment, rather than find and train someone new.  However, if you accept the counteroffer, they suddenly have time to find a replacement for you.
  • Accepting a counteroffer can cause friction with other co-workers and management, making the culture and environment undesirable to work in.

While there are lots of reasons why you should not accept a counteroffer, in some situations, it may be the right course of action for you and your career.  The important thing is to keep everything in perspective, and do not accept a counteroffer immediately.  Take time to weigh the pros and cons for your situation and make the decision that is going to benefit you and your career.

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