You have been presented with a compelling offer to join a new company, and you decide to accept.
When you resign, your current boss is very disappointed. He really doesn’t want to lose you. So, he offers to match (or maybe even beat) your offer from this new company. Now, you find yourself tempted to accept the counter-offer and stay where you are.
Don’t do it.
According to some reports, less than 20% of people who accept a counter-offer from their current employer are still with the company one year later. Many people who accept a counter-offer still end up leaving soon for a new role. In addition, many don’t leave on their own terms. They end up getting let go.
Here are two reasons why you should never accept a counter-offer after you resign:
1. Accepting a counter-offer places a huge bulls-eye on your back.
When you resign, there is a good chance that your current employer will make a counter-offer to try to entice you to stay. Replacing you would be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you are a senior executive, or if you have experience that is unique and valuable.
If you receive a counter-offer, you might be tempted to interpret it as a sign of your current employer’s commitment to you. In reality, it might just be a stall tactic while your company tries to find or groom someone to replace you.
A counter-offer should not be viewed as a sign that your employer is committed to you for the long-term. It should only be viewed as a sign that your employer is committed to you for right now.
Regardless of what your company tells you, they will likely resent having to make you a counter-offer. In addition, they will also question your loyalty. As a result, it will be natural for them to start thinking about how they can replace you.
Resigning from a company forever changes a relationship. There is no going back, despite what either side might say or want to think.
2. Accepting a counter-offer damages your reputation.
To accept a counter-offer, you would have to go back on your promise to accept a role with a new company. Doing so would suggest that you are indecisive or that you lack integrity.
This would not only make you look bad to the company that you had planned to join. It would also make you look bad to the company that you had planned to leave. You would never be looked at the same way again.
Summary and final thought
Accepting a counter-offer from your current company would probably not address the reasons why you had planned to leave in the first place. If you recently decided to accept a role with a new company, chances are that money was not the only factor. You were probably also attracted to the opportunity to work with some new people and to take on some new challenges.
Once you make the decision to leave a company, stay firm. Accepting a counter-offer from your current employer rarely works out well, and it often ends badly.
About the author: Pete Leibman is an executive recruiter, speaker, and author who helps leaders and companies thrive. He is the creator of StrongerHabits.com and he’s the bestselling author of Work Stronger; Habits for More Energy, Less Stress, and Higher Performance at Work.