How to handle receiving a counter offer

So, you’ve received a job offer, signed all the paperwork and are all prepped to hand in your notice. Dependent on your sentiments with the company this can be an easy task, or, if there’s a sense of anticipation, it can be a more difficult conversation – especially if you’re presented back with a tempting offer. Whether you’re set to take it or decline, here are our top tips for dealing with a counter offer that won’t have you burning bridges at either side.

  • Listen to your employer. When handing in your notice, more often than not, you may be completely convinced that nothing could make you stay. Regardless of your sentiments, if your current job wants to have a conversation about counter offers, you should still honour it, rather than shutting them off.
  • Come to the conversation with a plan. When speaking with your current manager, expect conversations around salary, bonuses and packages. Ensure you enter these negotiations with a plan, what you’re prepared to take or where there’s some movement to ensure that both parties are making best use of the allotted time.
  • Time is of the essence. Whilst these are conversations that shouldn’t be rushed, it’s important to move as quickly as possible to give sufficient notice of a decision to either notice – this is especially the case if you’re working through a short notice.
  • Think about why you wanted to leave in the first place. We understand, starting a new job and leaving the comfort of your current role can feel like somewhat of a risk. If your employer matches the new offer, it can be even more tempting to stay – however do consider the reasons why you wanted to hand in your notice in the first place. Is it enough?
  • Get an impartial opinion. Dealing with the experience of a counter offer can be a seriously stressful experience, and a lonely one at that. Whilst it can be an ego boost to be in demand with two companies, it’s important to garner opinion. Speak to a trusted friend or family member, if possible, more than one to gather insight. That way you’ll have at least some direction to help you make the decision.
  • Trust your gut. More often than not, you’ll have some sort of preference or ‘feeling’ as to what the right choice is. In these difficult times your initiative truly is King, so be sure to believe in it.
  • Make a decision, and don’t look back. Once you’ve considered every side of the coin and believe the conversations have got to as far as they can, it’s time to make a choice. If you decide to stay, ensure to tell the company you’re no longer joining by telephone, not via email (it can be impersonal), and explain honestly, and fairly the reasons why, whilst wishing the best for your company. If you’re still deciding to move jobs, again this should be a face-to-face conversation with your current company, and be sure to thank them for the opportunity. Most importantly, once it’s over – don’t look back! Take the experience as a learning one and prosper in your new role – wherever it may be.