Which is the Smarter Career Move: Taking the New Job? Or Accepting Your Company’s Counteroffer?

January 11th, 2013

Congratulations! You just got a terrific job offer. The down side? You have to tell your boss that you’re planning to leave. And what happens if your current company presents you with a counter offer? Do you automatically accept it, or take the new job?

Here’s a hint: you won’t find the answer to that question in the numbers. What you need to do is take a step back and ask yourself why you interviewed for the new job in the first place.

Are you bored at your current job? Frustrated? Do your co-workers make you crazy? A counteroffer isn’t going to change any of the scenarios. Unless your counteroffer includes an opportunity to move to a different position with different responsibilities, will more money be enough to help you ignore these stressors? If the underlying job dissatisfaction issues aren’t addressed, then it probably won’t.

Your reputation within the company might suffer, too. If word gets out about the deal, your relationships with co-workers could be damaged. They may be envious that you got more money by giving notice and become resentful.

But what if you like your current job? If you’re pretty happy there, or at least not unhappy, but an opportunity was brought to you (by a good friend, perhaps)? Now that you’ve raised the possibility of leaving, will you still be happy there? And will your boss trust you not to try and leave again? Unfortunately, research has shown that even when a counteroffer is proposed and accepted, more than 50% of all employees who accept counteroffers change companies within the following 24 months. You’ve sent a signal that you’re unhappy, and if your boss can’t handle that, your motives will be suspect from that point on. They’ll probably wonder whether you’ll always have your eye out for another opportunity.

Only you can answer these questions. Again, take salary out of the equation. Which job description and company excites you more?  Which job will take you to where you want to go in your career?

If you could use some expert advice, give the scientific and engineering staffing experts at Synerfac a call. We’d be happy to help you figure out what career is best for you.

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