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The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.

Candidates Beware – Counteroffers are Career Suicide

Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.

We are not sure who said this, but quite possibly it was a job candidate who was just presented with a counteroffer by his or her present employer.

Counteroffers are highly seductive. By their very nature they are designed to lure you back into a role you were ready to give up only minutes before. It’s a pretty heady experience to get a counteroffer. You think, “Finally, the company appreciates my value. They want me to stay. At long last, I’ll be paid what I’m worth.” Or, “Now I’ll get that promotion I deserve.”

Wrong.  Think again.

In 99.9 percent of all cases, companies are looking for a temporary fix to a problematic situation and you will be the loser in the long run. Career professionals almost always advise a candidate considering a counteroffer not to do it. Your relationship with your employer will never be the same. Additionally, most employees who accept counteroffers leave within six to 12 months, either on their own or by termination.

But why is something that sounds so promising not really a good career move for you? First and foremost, the company knows you were almost out the door, mentally and physically. Your loyalty and commitment will always be in question, even in the best work relationships. And think about it: It took threatening to quit to make the changes you’ve been asking about for the last year.

If a company truly values you, why did they take so long to make you feel appreciated or respond to your concerns? Counteroffers are corporate defense mechanisms. They aren’t really what’s best for you; they are what’s best for the company. It’s false flattery. Your employer is almost always starting to look for your replacement before you’ve settled back into your desk chair, and you’ve just given them the time and comfort level to do so.

Evaluate what you have before you give it up.
If you’ve expressed your dissatisfaction with your position and your employer has not made any attempt to remedy the situation, it’s time to go. Make up your mind and stick with your decision. Turn in a courteous, professional resignation letter. Don’t leave any room for further discussion. Behave honorably and don’t burn any bridges. The reasons that prompted your initial desire to leave just don’t disappear overnight. Listen to that opportunity knocking at your door, walk out to new challenges and don’t look back.

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