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Why you shouldn't accept an employer counter-offer

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You've successfully navigated the competitive job market and received an exciting new job offer from a different company.

However, as you shared this news with your current employer, they surprised you with a counter-offer.

It might seem tempting to consider, but in this blog, we'll explore why accepting a counter-offer might not be in your best interest.

What is a counter-offer?

A counter-offer is a revised employment proposal provided by your current employer in response to your announcement of a job offer from another company. This offer typically includes improved salary, benefits, or other incentives to encourage you to stay. While it might be flattering to receive such attention, it's crucial to approach counter-offers with caution.

Why companies make counter-offers

When faced with the possibility of losing a valued employee, companies might extend a counter-offer to retain talent and avoid the costs associated with hiring and training a replacement. Additionally, your departure could disrupt ongoing projects and team dynamics, making your current employer hesitant to see you go. While their intentions might be sincere, it's essential to consider the long-term implications.

Why you might be considering accepting a counter-offer

Before we delve into the reasons why you should avoid accepting a counter-offer, let's acknowledge some reasons why individuals might initially find them attractive:

Improved compensation

Counter-offers often come with a promise of higher pay. While this might seem enticing, it's essential to question why this increase wasn't offered earlier.


Staying with your current employer might feel comfortable since you're already familiar with the company culture and your role.

Fear of change

Accepting a new job comes with uncertainties. The prospect of stepping into the unknown can be intimidating, causing some to lean towards the familiar option.

Reasons why you should NOT accept a counter-offer

While counter-offers might seem tempting, there are compelling reasons to decline:

The underlying issue isn’t solved by a counter-offer

Just because your employer is willing to match another offer doesn't necessarily mean the issues that prompted you to explore new opportunities are resolved. If there were problems related to career growth, job satisfaction, or work-life balance, a counter-offer might only serve as a temporary fix.

Can affect career progression

Accepting a counter-offer might stall your career progression. Your current employer might promise growth and development, but there's no guarantee that these promises will materialise. Other companies may offer clearer paths to advancement.

Your loyalty may be questioned

By considering an external offer, you've inadvertently raised doubts about your commitment to the company. Accepting a counter-offer might lead to concerns about your loyalty, which could impact future projects and promotions.

It’s not going to meet your long-term objectives

While a counter-offer might meet your immediate financial needs, it might not align with your long-term career objectives. Consider whether the current role offers the challenges, opportunities, and learning experiences you seek in the long run.

It will not guarantee job satisfaction

Money and perks are important, but they don't guarantee job satisfaction. If you were already feeling unfulfilled in your current role, a counter-offer might only mask the underlying issues temporarily.

Your employer may question your commitment

Accepting a counter-offer could lead your employer to wonder how committed you are to staying long-term. This uncertainty might impact how they involve you in strategic projects or important initiatives.

​​Your employer still might not be paying you enough

Even with a counter-offer, there's a chance that your employer is still not paying you what you're truly worth in the market. Don't settle for less than you deserve.

​​If times get tough, you may be the first to go

In uncertain economic times, companies may resort to layoffs. If you've recently accepted a counter-offer, you might be perceived as a cost that can be cut if the situation worsens.

Making career decisions can be challenging, especially when presented with a counter-offer. While the allure of improved compensation and familiarity might be tempting, it's crucial to consider the bigger picture.

Ultimately, embracing change and pursuing opportunities aligned with your long-term goals often outweigh the immediate benefits of a counter-offer.

Your career journey is about growth, development, and fulfilment, and sometimes, that means bravely stepping into the unknown.

If you are seeking new job opportunities, we invite you to explore the amazing jobs we are recruiting for. To speak with one of our experienced recruitment consultants, please get in touch with us today!