The Right Way to Decide: Accept or Reject a Counteroffer

Great news! You got the job! It’s everything you were looking for, right down to the easy daily commute. All you have to do now is give notice to your current employer. You nervously but professionally take care of that step. But behold! They put a counteroffer on the table, leaving you entirely unsure how to proceed. You had no doubts in your decision–until now.

Break things down

During this sometimes clouded moment of judgment, it’s usually helpful to simply break down the situation into logical pieces and see what makes the most sense. First, ask yourself why you wanted to look for new opportunities. Next, compare that answer to the details in the offer from your current employer versus the details of the new job offer. Simply put, if your original reason for searching out a new job isn’t resolved by the details of the counteroffer, accepting probably won’t satisfy your needs. At least not for very long.

Not that it’s a general rule that one should never accept a counteroffer. But most counteroffers can only accomplish one or two things—additional money and/or a new title. If strictly about money, a counteroffer that involves a rate increase certainly could do the trick! In that case, accepting the counteroffer could make all the sense in the world and make you very happy for an indefinite period of time. However, accepting a counteroffer that leaves the original concern unaddressed often results in that concern creeping back up, leaving that individual looking for jobs again.

Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist
Tiffany Appleton, Director, Accounting & Finance Division