Let’s paint a picture — and a seemingly rosy one, at that. You just accepted a new job offer at a different company, and the day comes when you must head into your boss’s office to share the news. But instead of offering her congratulations, she counters with a higher salary if you choose to stay put.
It’s tempting to take the bump and maintain the status quo, but chances are good that things won’t pan out in the end if you have already broached the topic of a raise or new job responsibilities.
While no one can tell you what’s best for you, remember that there were reasons you decided to look for a job that’s a better fit. And if you do accept that counter offer, you could run into problems later down the line, like the following:
1. Pay raises.
Most companies have set salary guidelines. When it comes time for annual reviews, the raise you just got may very well be your only one for the year. And with the raise coming off the heels of a job offer, your employer may not recognize your true value, which could spell trouble for negotiating an increase in the future.
2. Job standing.
Your relationship with your employer will forever change once you tell them that you plan to leave — even after a counter offer. A trust has been broken and they may think you still have one foot out the door.
3. Promotion opportunities.
Your employer may be happy to keep you on the team, but that can quickly fade. If a promotion opportunity comes along, you may be the last person up for the role. Who’s to say you won’t jump ship soon after accepting? The majority of people who accept a counter offer leave within six months.
4. Job security.
Don’t take the counter offer as a sign that you’re irreplaceable. It could be a temporary solution until your employer can recruit a replacement or a quick fix to divert the disruption your departure could create. Either way you could find yourself pushed out soon after.
5. Job satisfaction.
Sure, you’re making more money, but what else has changed? It’s not likely your job satisfaction will suddenly improve with an increase in pay. You may still be dealing with unfavorable working conditions or a stressful commute. Think long and hard about why you were about to leave before accepting a counter offer.
6. Burnt bridges.
Accepting a job offer comes with one huge expectation: you’ve already decided to take the role. That new employer has closed the job, taken down the notices, contacted all other candidates, and made arrangements for your training. You’ve now put them in a position where they must start over. Accepting that counter offer has burned a bridge, if not more. People, as they say, talk. Word could get around, limiting future job opportunities elsewhere.
Counter offers can muddy the waters for all involved. No one is telling you not to feel flattered by the counter offer, but understand the risks that often come with it. If you leave your current employer on good terms, there’s always the chance to return later. On the other hand, the company may have been taking it for granted that you appeared satisfied in your role. Either way, you should do what’s necessary to get ahead in your career.