A Springboard to Success
or Death to Your Career?
Let’s say you’re not happy in your current job. You wish they’d promote you and pay you more – and if they did, you’d be happy to stay… but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
You go out and find another job and take what they’ve offered you directly to your boss’s desk. You let her know that such-and-such employer offered you this much more pay in a better position and ask her to fight for you by way of a counter-offer.
Essentially you’re telling your boss, “I’m leaving unless you give me _____ and _____.” (Fill in the blanks with whatever you’re asking for.)
Counter-Offers Sound Great… What Could Go Wrong?
While trying to get a counter-offer might sound like a great idea, you need to think twice before giving your boss an ultimatum. Sure, it might get you what you want in the short-term – but remember, your current boss might:
• be unwilling to give you what you want
• decide you’re disloyal and no longer valuable to the company
• choose to give you what you want while looking for your replacement
Another thing to keep in mind is that counter-offers are kind-of like a bribe your boss is offering you to stay. If they really felt you were worth what you’re asking for, why didn’t they give it to you in the first place? They might not be the kind of employers you want to stay with after all.
Counter-Offers in Real Life
As a staffing professional, I frequently deal with currently-employed people who use Adam Personnel and Adam Temps to find work. In many cases, they transition from their old job to their new job seamlessly – and live happily ever after.
However, sometimes people find employment through us and then take the offer they received back to their current boss, who makes a counter-offer; then they stay put, leaving their ‘new’ employer high and dry.
I always say this is a bad idea – not only because they’re tarnishing their reputation throughout the workforce, but because the National Employment Association found that 80% of employees who accepted a counter-offer had left their companies (either voluntarily or involuntarily) within six months of acceptance.
That’s a scary thing – especially when you know accepting a counteroffer can start your career’s slow, painful death.
The Beginning of the End
Sure, it sounds great that your boss is now willing to pay you more or promote you and you don’t have to adjust to a new work environment – but don’t forget:
• Your boss will never forget that you wanted to leave the company, and now he’s paying you more. What’s going to stop him from looking for your replacement (who will work for less money)?
• The company you accepted an offer from will be let down – you left them hanging, and corporate executives talk. That means your name is on the wrong list, and your chances of ever being hired by the company you stiffed are basically nil.
A Final Word on Counter-Offers
When you bring your new job offer to your current boss, you’re forcing her to make a decision she never wanted to make. If you don’t really want to leave your position, the right thing to do is talk to her before you start looking for another job – maybe you can settle your differences and get a clear understanding of expectations on both sides and avoid the problems counter-offers are almost sure to bring.
Image courtesy of Celalteber at stock.xchng.