Stay or Go: Accepting a Counteroffer After You have Submitted Your Resignation Letter

Stay or Go: Accepting a Counteroffer After You have Submitted Your Resignation Letter

Once you’ve announced your intentions to leave your present employer, its of no doubt that your loyalty will always be in question regardless of long and much value you have put in at your present organization. As tough as it can be, you should be prepared to accept reality. This article, co-authored by Hansel explains how.

For starters, you might think about what a ‘counteroffer’ is or entails? A counter-offer is an offer from your current employer to rival the one you have received from your future employer, to convince you to stay.

Counter-offers can take many forms: a straight increase in salary, additional company benefits, a sought-after promotion or new job title, additional responsibility, a change in role, more involvement in projects that interest you—or any combination of these.

The Need for A Counteroffer

From looking for a new challenge to career advancement, a desire to work with newer technology or within an organisation where they can contribute and feel valued, people are prone to change jobs for a different range of reasons.

Why then would a pay rise, new job title or additional benefits be anything other than a superficial tactic to convince you to stay? If you receive a counteroffer, it’s worth considering the reasons why you initially looked for a new role to begin with. They must have been serious and genuine since you not only looked for a new job but applied, were interviewed and accepted a position elsewhere. These are not the actions of someone satisfied in their current role. Having prepared yourself both mentally and logistically for a move for so long, a counter-offer can easily throw you off-balance and put your plans in disarray; they can be a real spanner in the works.

The decision to leave your job is never one taken lightly, so when you’re presented with a counter-offer you should keep a clear head, take a step back and consider all your options.

Here are some reasons why an employer might want you to stay:

  • Finding a suitable replacement will be expensive.
  • It will mess up their budget to re-recruit that time of year.
  • They have not got time to re-recruit right now.
  • They want to have you cover while they hunt for your replacement.
  • They want you to finish the project you are working on.
  • They don’t have the time to train someone new at the moment Losing staff might reflect badly on your employer.

The cold reality that your employer doesn’t see, is that keeping you on because your skills are indispensable to the business is only one of many reasons employers issue counter-offers. You’ve made it clear that you don’t see your long-term career progressing within this organisation so you’ve got to think about whether this will affect your employer’s decision-making when considering future promotions.

You’ve got to also consider the possibility that your boss will start planning for your replacement as soon as you accept the counteroffer. If they’ve got someone waiting in the wings for when you next decide to look elsewhere this could cast a shadow over your everyday routine, in turn affecting your performance and overall satisfaction.

The Dilemma: Should I stay, or should I go?

Well, ultimately that’s your call. When making your decision to accept the counter-offer or not, remember above all to put yourself first. Don’t concern yourself with feelings of guilt or loyalty; your employer certainly doesn’t think this way.

Once you’ve removed emotion from the decision making process assess with a clear mind whether the counter-offer meets the concerns you had or the fulfillment you sought when you first decided to leave the job. If it does then great, you might not have to leave after all.


Do not let an unexpected counter offer stop you in your tracks. Take it in your stride, thank your employer for the opportunity and reaffirm your intention to leave.

Credit: Hanny Talker

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