Not very long ago, when you left one role to move to another that tended to be it. You resigned, you worked your notice (or if you were in a sensitive position and lucky enough) you got garden leave to finish up your contract and then you started your new role. At the moment though we are seeing a very low unemployment rate and a skills shortage, and the result of that is when you resign from a position you are much more likely to find yourself with a counter offer on the table. While it can feel good to be wanted, the counter offer can bring a whole host of difficult decisions and other issues. Here are five things to think about before you make that big decision.
1. Is the counter offer genuine?
It could be that the offer you have received from your current employer is not all it seems. Although it is nice to think that you’re wanted in your current position, in some cases the counter offer can be a knee-jerk reaction rather than a considered one. Be very wary of the fallout from this in the long term.
2. Is staying the right thing long-term?
Leaving one position for another can be a difficult and often stressful time. Make sure that you take a balanced view of what staying will mean. It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to avoid the stress of change at the cost of long-term problems. Statistically, it is estimated that around 60% of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving within six months anyway. On top of which, you have already accepted an offer. Will now reneging on that decision end up negatively impacting on your reputation?
3. Will it work out financially for you?
Make sure you take all the financial ramifications into consideration. The common reaction of an employer to a valued employee leaving is to up the salary. However, any business can only stand so much in the way of employment costs, so realistically that increase could just be the rise you would have been given later anyway.
4.Why did you want to leave?
Do not make the decision without taking stock of your reasons for leaving. We know that most people who switch jobs do so for reasons other than a wage rise. Commonly job satisfaction, benefits, development and the new company’s ethos are more motivational than money. If the reason you were leaving is not purely financial, then nothing is going to change if you stay. Work-life balance and job satisfaction are big things to throw aside for a counter offer.
5. Will there be any residual ill will?
Sadly, people are flawed things, and we all tend to be a bundle of different emotions in these kinds of situations. It may well be that the senior management team want you back but will a line manager or the person who was likely to step into your role be quite as accommodating. The last thing you need is a workplace full of hidden resentment.
Finally, whatever your decision, always resist the urge to get into a ping pong offer and counter offer volley with your prospective new employer and your old one. It will only result in both parties resenting you and you feeling uncomfortable in your new role.
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