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How To Deal With A Counter Offer From Your Boss

So, you’ve accepted a job offer at a new company and it’s time to break the news to your current boss, shouldn’t be too difficult should it?

You do everything right, hand in your notice, offer to help with the transition and thank them for the opportunity. Then they go and throw a spanner in the works. Instead of just shaking your hand and wishing you well, they hit you with a counter offer, usually one with more money, more holidays and better benefits.

While the counter offer might sound irresistible, chances are that your boss has ulterior motives.

There are a number of reasons your boss might want you to stay (other than you being great at your job!). Low staff retention levels can hurt a manager’s record. Or, maybe, because it’s easier and cheaper for them to keep hold of you and pay you a little more, than it is to recruit, hire, and train a new employee. Also, if your new role is with a competitor, there will be the fear factor that you could take business with you.

In some cases, accepting a counter offer may be a good move. But before you say yes, make sure you consider the following:

1. You had to quit to get a pay rise
It should make you wonder, why did they wait until you were walking out of the door? Why weren’t you valuable enough to deserve a pay rise before – when you were coming into the office every day and exceeding within your role.

2. Those niggles won’t change
Was it just about the money? Or were you dissatisfied with the work you were doing? Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge, new colleagues or flexibility at work?

Always refer back to the reasons you applied for a new job in the first place. It’s unlikely that a bump in pay and benefits will solve the frustrations that led you to seek new job opportunities.

3. You’re probably going to leave anyway
“More than 60% of UK employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving within 6 months anyway,” explains Helen Pedder of Clear Sky Business.

4. How can I turn down the counter offer without burning bridges?
If you decide that accepting the counter offer isn’t in your best interest, you should decline politely to avoid any bad feeling. You never know, you may have to work with that person again in the future. Maybe they will become a customer. It’s a small world!


If you would like further advice on how best to deal with a counter offer, get in touch with the team, we’re here to help.

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