It’s not unreasonable to want a change in your professional life. Regardless of your reason, leaving a job you’re not satisfied with can be a necessary, positive progression.
Everyone’s career journey is full of highs, lows and in-between periods. Sometimes, saying goodbye to an employer is difficult. At other times, doing so is a welcome relief.
Your situation, though daunting now — as beginning on an unfamiliar path always is — will work itself out.
Deciding it’s time to move on, turning in your two-week notice and starting anew — either with another company or in search of one — is an interesting place to be.
Especially if your current employer has extended you a counteroffer.
It’s not uncommon for valued, highly-skilled employees (like yourself) to receive follow-up offers from their workplace after deciding to move on. However, these offers can be both flattering and difficult to decipher.
As a result, upon receiving a counteroffer, many people are left with more questions than answers:
“Should I consider staying put under these new terms?”, “Is it possible this will solve my problem(s)?”, “Should I negotiate this offer a bit to increase my job satisfaction?”
These are important questions to answer before making a decision either way.
Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), more than 65 years as an employer has taught us just how important employee satisfaction is — counteroffers are just one of the tools companies use to keep their people happy.
In this article, we’ll help you decide what to do when an employer responds to your resignation with a counteroffer. The last thing you want is to stay at a job you’re unhappy with simply because a counteroffer was extended. So you avoid this in the future, this article will explain:
- What a counteroffer is
- What types of counteroffers there are
- Why your employer would extend a counteroffer
- Important things to consider when deciding whether to accept a counteroffer
- Whether it's ok to negotiate a counteroffer
What is a Counteroffer?
A counteroffer, when presented by an employer to an employee, is an employment proposal adjusted from its original form in some way. Commonly, counteroffers are formulated to entice an employee to remain with the company extending it and should address that employee’s main reason(s) for wanting to switch jobs.
What Types of Counteroffers Are There?
Counteroffers can take a variety of forms at the discretion of the party extending them. Usually, these will improve one, or more, aspects of an employee’s original contract.
This includes, but isn’t limited to, adjustments to a person’s:
- Paid time off incentive
- Work location (hybrid/remote opportunity)
- Responsibilities/job duties
- Ancillary employment benefits (company car, yearly bonus, etc.)
Basically, anything that can be changed to make someone’s employment more enjoyable and to address their concerns, can be included in a counteroffer.
Why Would an Employer Give You a Counteroffer?
Companies extend counteroffers to employees they really value. If yours has given you one, don’t take this lightly. It’s important you see this for what it is: an honest attempt to address your concerns and keep you on their team.
Should You Accept a Counteroffer?
There are advantages and disadvantages to most decisions. And, when it comes to your career, you can’t leave anything to chance. You deserve to work for a company that truly values you and gives you every opportunity to succeed.
Although presenting you with a counteroffer is a step in the right direction, there are two considerations you should make before deciding whether, or not, to accept it.
- Does this offer address your reason for wanting to leave?
- How will accepting this offer impact your career?
1. Does This Offer Address Your Reason For Wanting to Leave?
First and foremost, it’s worth exploring whether the counteroffer you’ve received will actually fix the underlying issue driving you to quit. If not, you may find yourself in a similar situation again in the future.
A counteroffer should never be used as a Band-Aid. Do not accept a counteroffer if you feel there isn’t a way to repair your working relationship at a company. In these situations, no pay bump or benefit adjustment will keep you happy long-term — it’s best to move on.
Alternatively, if your main concerns are addressed within an employer’s offer — perhaps you needed a raise or an additional remote work day — accepting it makes more sense. As long as you know, deep down, that your major hangup has been solved, accepting a counteroffer can be a healthy decision.
2. How Will Accepting This Offer Impact Your Career?
Sometimes, employees decide to leave a job because it feels like the natural next step in their career. Whether it seems like there’s nothing left for them to learn, no space for them to grow internally or any mix of other reasons, employees commonly leave a company to advance their careers.
While it’s possible to remain with one organization for your entire working life, this is certainly not the norm. So, when considering a counteroffer, it’s important to weigh how a decision, in either direction, will impact your career long-term.
At the end of the day, you want to grow personally and professionally. So, if you resigned from a company because you were convinced there was nothing more for you there, accepting a counteroffer may be a mistake.
Is it Ok to Negotiate a Counteroffer?
The final point we want to touch on here is this: it’s okay to negotiate with an employer when they present a counteroffer to you. . . within reason, of course.
You see, when a company responds to a resignation with an offer, they’re displaying their desire to keep you onboard. Although some counteroffers are take-it-or-leave-it, usually there’s some wiggle room.
As such, don’t hesitate to state your terms should the situation call for it — especially if you have another job waiting for you.
That said, whenever you negotiate with an employer it’s important to understand the market you’re in: What kind of bargaining power do job-seekers have right now? Is there a labor shortage of people with your skillset? Is now the right time to ask for a significant pay bump?
Flush out the answers to these questions before making any drastic requests of your employer. This will help you understand the cards you have to play, so you can avoid losing out on a counteroffer.
Counteroffer to Consider? Here Are Your Options. . .
Now you have a good understanding of what counteroffers are and what role they play in the workplace.
If you’ve recently been extended an offer and you’re considering what to do, make sure to:
- Dig into whether the offer adequately addresses your needs/concerns
- Think about how a decision (either way) will impact your career long term
Keeping these things in mind will make assessing your situation and coming to the right decision easier. If you conclude that your relationship with your current employer is irreparable and it’s time to move on, no counteroffer will fix this.
Although this can be a scary feeling, sometimes cutting ties is the best decision for all parties. At the end of the day, though, you’re the only one who can make this call.
Check out this article outlining the pros and cons of a career in the transportation industry. Who knows, this industry might have exactly what you’re looking for; it sure has a lot to offer.