When a Counteroffer Tempts, Think of New Job Pros

Explore the Uknown 2

As a recruiter, I see candidates struggle over the decision to accept a new job or take a strong counteroffer from their current company. While each case is unique, there are many pros to starting something new, even when that counteroffer tempts.

The Pros of a New Job

There is a REASON you sought out a new job. Maybe it’s boredom, a need for flexibility, better pay, or a chance to advance. Maybe you want something that aligns to your passions. Whatever the reason, you ACTIVELY looked for the new opportunity AND a new company chose you from many other candidates.

A new job gives you an opportunity to shed old assumptions and reinvent yourself. As you work with new people, you have a chance to make a first impression. Every time you change jobs, you get to redefine yourself on your own terms. For example, “if you learned a ton at your last job and were ready to become Manager of Inventory Control but you couldn’t do that at your last job because the Manager of Inventory Control was your boss, you can step up to a new altitude by moving to a new company,” says Liz Ryan of Forbes.  You will also learn new things from different coworkers.

Counteroffer Cons

You were offered a BIG counteroffer. It is quite flattering. You finally know that your current company values you. They didn’t realize you were unhappy. They messed up.

You think of the friends you have made and how much easier it would be to stay. But a few months down the road, you realize that your loyalty will always be in question. Your boss may feel blackmailed and colleagues may resent what they see as special treatment, says Kelly O. Kay and Michael Cullen of Harvard Business Review. People will know that you can essentially be bought back, and that money is of ultimate importance.

You are tempted to accept the counter. But saying no to the company making the new job offer means burning a bridge, especially if you already accepted before the counter was made. “The other organization would be unlikely to ever look at hiring you again, your current employer will question your motives (and the relationship may quickly sour, resulting in a need to conduct another search), and, depending on your industry and how large it is, you may gain a reputation as a ‘counteroffer king or queen,’ which could affect your opportunities down the road,” says Miriam Salpeter, job search coach, owner of Keppie Careers and author of Social Networking for Business Success (Forbes).

Keep in mind that many employees accepting counteroffers wind up leaving anyway; the counteroffer delays the inevitable.

It’s OK to Change Jobs

There are solid advantages in changing jobs often (every three to five years at least) according to Liz Ryan of Forbes. A few of these reasons are: 1) You risk falling behind in your industry if you stay in the same job too long 2) You need the new challenges and new experiences you find in a fast-growing, new company. 3) You can expand your network by meeting new people through a job change.

Accepting a new job takes a huge leap of faith, especially when you are comfortable with the people you currently work with. Pastor Rick Godwin says, “One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.”

I understand why counteroffers are so tempting for some. It’s the safe choice. But if you’re not willing to take a risk on the unknown, you’re essentially settling on the ordinary. We were made to do great things and explore the unknown. Embrace the new possibilities!

Artemis Consultants is here to help candidates through every step of the job search and job acceptance process.

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