Friday, February 8, 2013

Job Seekers - Beware of The Counter Offer…

  • When you give your notice, you have been red flagged your company that you’re unhappy in your present situation, and you have been out looking for another position. Perhaps even on company time.
  • Once the word gets out that you have an offer and are leaving or want to leave, you may very possibly be deemed a traitor by the company and even your coworkers/peers.
  • If and when cut backs arise, you will be the first one they think of to let go. After all, you weren’t loyal to them so why should they be loyal to you?
  • If they really value you for the work you have done, why weren’t you compensated with the same salary they want to offer you now, in the past?  If you think about that for a moment, it is actually quite insulting to your intelligence and not flattering at all.
  • Bosses do not like to be ’terminated’ any more than employees do.  He/she will want to save face with their boss, so they will try to negotiate to get you to stay.  In a counter offer, they may try to seduce you with more money, a modified reporting structure, promise of future considerations, promotions, and even guilt trips. They also may offer you a counter because they are in the middle of a certain project, and they need you or any warm, trained, body to stand in the gap until it is completed.  At that point, you will then be expendable at their convenience. Then you will be left out in the cold.  The other job you have been hired for will, by then, then be long gone.
  • Statistically, those who have accepted a counter offer will leave or be terminated 80% of the time within a matter of six months to a year.  It is said that 50% of those who accepted a counter offer once again initiated a job search within 90 days, when things had fallen back into the same old ugly patterns.  An employer will keep you on for their convenience but will inevitably terminate you at their whim.  It’s a hard fact that once an employer knows you are looking for another position, they are also on the look out for someone to fill your position.  Most likely, at a lower salary than you presently make.  Some bosses have even commented that once an employee has accepted a counter offer from them they know that employee can be bought and manipulated.  They question their integrity. It lowers their trust and respect for the person.  The damage has then been done.

It is easier to count it all as flattery when you give your notice and an employer tells you that you are too valuable to lose.  But beware, it is a false flattery.

We understand it is stressful to begin another job and leave your comfortable surroundings behind, even though you are unhappy there. However, what is the alternative?  You need to look at the big picture of how you are advancing in your career and challenging yourself to grow. So what will you choose when you’re faced with a new exciting opportunity or the stagnant one you’re in now?  We’d advise that you graciously thank your boss and decline the counter offer. Remember, they aren’t flattering you. 

Cathy L. Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC; an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher that specializes in the Factory Built Structures Industries. Cathy can be reached at (727) 504-5350 or  For more information about the company and to visit the job board, access:

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