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Should you ever accept a counter-offer at your current firm?

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People move jobs for a variety of different reasons:

  • Hate your current company and co-workers

  • Career progression

  • Better working hours/flexibility

  • Relocation

  • Money

The actual interview process itself can be stressful and time-consuming before you finally secure an offer with a new firm. However, strong candidates or those with a particularly in-demand skillset will often be counter-offered by their current firm. This can be quite a dilemma but the question is- should you accept the counter-offer?

The reality is money doesn’t fix everything and often people do not move for just more money. Furthermore, when a person does accept a counter-offer, their current firm may question their loyalty in the mid to long term resulting in an uneasiness from both parties going forward. This could also have an impact on future promotions and fear that the person may end up leaving at some point irrespective of the counter-offer. From a candidate perspective, it is worth considering why your current employers didn’t address these salary issues and why you looked to move in the first place.

We, therefore, suggest only accepting a counter-offer in your current firm if the money is a significant increase and:

  • Your current firm can give you assurances

    in writing

    of a specific promotion either now or in the future. Simply saying it in a meeting is not enough.

  • Greater flexibility in terms of flexible working/working hours

    in writing

    (if that a key motivation why you considered leaving at the outset)

  • If you are in a particularly in-demand sector, you would be in a better position career-wise to stay at your current company and then move later on for a more senior role at a different company.