11 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Counteroffer

You’ve been offered a new employment opportunity and have informed your current employer. They’ve come back to you with a counteroffer… How do you determine the right move for your career? Here are 11 questions to ask yourself and consider before accepting a counteroffer.

1 | What kind of company will only give into your demands if you threaten to resign?
Did they not value you before the ultimatum?

2 | Where will the counteroffer money come from? Is it an early edition of your next raise?
You may also want to know which budget will cover the unexpected costs.

3 | Have you unknowing become a temporary worker?
They may keep you on the team just long enough to find your replacement – for less money.

4 | Will you be perceived differently from now on?
Your employer knows you’re unhappy – is your loyalty now permanently in question? According to research by the Harvard Business Review, “nearly 80% of senior executives and 60% of HR leaders cited diminished trust and compromised reputation among the executives and board members of the employee’s current company.“

5 | Is there a target sign on your back?
Are you aware of other counteroffers at your company? If so, have those employees been treated differently regarding promotions or other status?

6 | Is this a short-term or long-term solution?
Employees that accept counteroffers typically leave their jobs, voluntary or involuntary, within 6 to 12 months. Do you have a back-up plan?

7 | If there is a downturn, will you be the first one on the chopping block?
Refer to question six.

8 | Has your work problem been solved?
Unless you’ve negotiates a complete overhaul of your position, the same reasons that caused you to consider leaving will more than likely reappear.

9 | Can you live with your decision?
The sweetness of a big salary bump can turn sour when you realize that you were paid too little for too long. Whether you feel like a sell-out, a shark or a doormat, any residual negative feelings can color your ongoing relationship with the company.

10 | Will your relationship with your coworkers be affected?
Your peer may respond to your threatened resignation in one of three ways: 1) They will cheer you on for bucking the system; 2) They will resent you for the drama created to achieve your requests; 3) They will be inspired by your example. Any of these options runs the risk of upsetting people at every end of the corporate ladder.

11 | Are you staying for the wrong reasons?
A better salary, a promotion and a nicer office are great – but they don’t solve the underlying problems. Were you looking forward to escaping a negative culture, bad management, excessive stress or even just a terrible commute? If you stay, make sure it is because it’s the right place for you, your well-being and your career objectives. If it is not, say goodbye – politely and confidently – and move on. You made the right choice.