3 Reasons Not to Accept a Counter Offer


It’s understandable why you might want to accept a counter offer. After all, it’s an environment you know and there’s security in that.

But there are some pitfalls that come with saying ‘yes’ both to your personal brand and potential career trajectory. Here are 3 of them.

The diminishment of trust is a very real phenomenon that both parties experience once a counter offer is accepted and the dust settles. First of all, you essentially had to leave to get a raise, or better working conditions or…you get the picture. Why did the company almost have to lose you to recognize your value? From their end, you almost left once. Perhaps you’ll leave again. You need to assess why a counter offer was made and what you truly stand to gain by staying with your organization before you make a decision.

According to the recruiting firm CyberCoders, 4 out of 5 people who accept a counteroffer leave within nine months of doing so. Knowing this, ask yourself why you wanted change in the first place. Did you feel that your skills weren’t recognized, or that there was no room for growth? Will a bump in pay really help to create lasting change? Take some time and evaluate why you wanted to go. Ask yourself if those reasons are still in play.

Damage to Your Brand
Let’s say you’ve already accepted another job. What does it do to your professional and personal brand to turn around and accept a counter offer? In a nutshell – it’s not a good thing. You potentially position yourself as unreliable and that doesn’t help your cause down the road should you return to job search mode.

Counter offers are typically extended to benefit the hiring manager. This is not to say that it can’t work to stay with your organization. It’s just that you need to reflect on why you want a change and whether accepting a counter offer is a wise career move. Then make your decision from there.