So you’re thinking about Accepting a Counter Offer?

In our opinion, the words “counter offer” should be something of a taboo amongst job seekers. Recruiters loathe the dreaded counter offer, and in most cases, you should too. While you might feel like the threat of leaving is the only way to get the pay or benefits you feel you deserve from your current employer, accepting a counter offer will almost always be counter-productive.

Yes, a counter offer might be immediately gratifying; however, there are some very good reasons to turn it down. As you begin browsing’s new Job Board and Career Center, consider the following:

1. Do you really want to leave?
If you’re with an employer in a food manufacturing job that you enjoy, don’t offer your resignation just yet. Think about why you’re looking elsewhere, and if you have legitimate needs or concerns that can possibly be met in your present position, talk to your current employer first.

The truth is, if you turn in your resignation and then accept a counter offer, you may actually be hurting your long-term employment with your current company. According to the National Employment Association, recent surveys show that of all employees who accept counter offers, approximately 80% end up leaving (or being let go) within six months.

2. Will a counter offer solve your problems?
If all you’re looking for is a raise, ask for it directly. If there are more complex issues at stake, accepting a counter offer will not solve those problems for you. In fact, staying on will only cause greater frustration and further deterioration in your working relationships.
Remember that a counter offer is only extended with the company’s well-being in mind. You already know the job, so it makes sense for the company to retain you. If you accept the offer, it’s ultimately a bribe that your employer can hold over your head for as long as you stick around. All things considered, you may end up in a worse spot than before.
3. Are you willing to burn bridges?

Because, ultimately, that’s what you’ll be doing. If you’re at the point where you have accepted an offer from a new employer, you must realize that they’ve stopped their search for a new employee. Job notices have been taken down, training has been arranged. It’s even possible that your new employer has let someone go to bring you on board. It’s easy to imagine the upheaval you would cause by accepting an offer elsewhere.
When you turn down the new job offer for a counter offer, you’ve not only ruined your future chances with that company, but you’ve potentially damaged your own credibility in your chosen field. What many job seekers don’t realize is that most industries aren’t all that big. If you’ve made a bad name for yourself in one food career, don’t think that it won’t spread to other potential employers.

4. Are you putting yourself in the cross-hairs?
If you turn in your resignation only to accept a counter offer, you may be putting yourself at the top of the list when cutbacks are made. Your employer will remember that you were unhappy and that you nearly went to work somewhere else. Why should he keep you on payroll if he’s not sure of your loyalty in the first place? Remember that employers value loyalty more than just about anything else.
While your employer might have avoided the immediate hassle of having to replace you unexpectedly, don’t overestimate your own value to your company. Remember that anyone in a food manufacturing job can be replaced. If your loyalty is in question, there’s a big chance that your boss will start to look for your replacement – at a lower price.

5. How would you like to be treated?
Finally, the issue of counter offers comes down to professional courtesy. It is very tempting to keep searching once a good offer has been made and accepted, but think of it this way: what if a company extended an offer to you, only to rescind the offer a few days later because they had “found someone better”? You would be angry – and rightly so.
The last thing you want to cause is ill-will amongst employers, and in so many cases, accepting a counter offer is nothing short of career suicide. Remember that employers deserve the same courtesy that you would want extended to you. If you can resolve problems with your current employer without tendering your resignation, do so. If you have accepted an offer from a new employer, stick with it – even if something “better” comes along.