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If you find yourself in a position where you have secured an offer for a new job and plan to make a move from your current company, counter-offers are a very real possibility that may be presented to you. So what is a counter-offer and why is it important to be prepared for them? Check out our breakdown below to help you understand all about counter-offers and why it is important to be aware of them before handing in your notice.


What is a counter-offer?

A counter-offer is an offer that your current employer may present to you to rival your new job offer as an incentive to try and persuade you to stay with the company. This may be anything from a salary or benefits increase, promotion, an option to work from home or a combination of any of the above. Counter-offers can leave you confused or in doubt about your decisions, so it is important to be prepared for a counter-offer prior to handing in your notice so you know how to handle it.


Why am I being counter-offered?

Leaving a job, especially if you have been there for a longer period of time or get on well with your colleagues, is difficult. Companies have many reasons why they may present an employee with a counter offer including

  • You have skills or knowledge that are difficult to replace
  • The company does not have time to re-recruit and train at that time
  • The company has suffered from a high staff turnover and can’t afford to lose more employees
  • Hiring a replacement may be expensive


Is it a good idea to accept a counter-offer?

From our experience, we more often than not see those candidates who accept a counter-offer still end up leaving their current role/company within the next six months. It is rare that there is a good reason to accept a counter-offer, so when faced with them it is important to remember the reasons you were planning to move in the first place. Before you make any decisions, make sure you think about the following questions:

  1. Why are these options only being presented to me now rather than before my resignation?
  2. Is the counter-offer realistic and will the offers be implemented or are they empty promises?
  3. Will accepting the counter-offer actually be enough for me to be happy in my job?
  4. What are my reasons for leaving, will the counter-offer outweigh these reasons and make the difference in the long run?
  5. Has the reason you wanted to leave been addressed and fixed?


Counter-offers can be confusing and hard to deal with, but don’t let it stop you from making the right decision. When presented with a counter-offer make sure to be firm in you answer and stand your ground on your decision. If you plan to decline, politely thank your employer and let them know you have appreciated your time with them, however that you have made your mind up and that it is the right decision for you. If you do decide to accept the counter-offer, make sure it is for the right decisions and that you won’t regret it down the line. Remember even if you decide to stay your resignation will not be forgotten and it may take some time to rebuild trust with your employer.



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