Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counteroffer


Companies never want to lose valuable employees, and if you leaving puts your manager in a bind a counteroffer is likely. However flattering it is, your manager is only solving a temporary problem and may no longer envision you as a long-term member of the team. Here are five reasons why accepting a counteroffer may only delay the inevitable.

  1. Your current employer did not value you until they thought you were leaving.

They may appreciate you enough to give you a raise to stay, but have shown they will only do the bare minimum to keep you there.

  1. If the economy takes a downturn, who do you think management will let go first?

Budgets wax and wane, and when head count is trimmed a “disloyal” employee will be more likely to float to the top of the list.

  1. Future promotions may now be delayed or nonexistent.

When the time comes for a promotion do you think trying to leave them high and dry will make you a front runner?

  1. Your manager may begin searching for your replacement now.

Rather than waiting for you to put in your notice again and leave them in a bad position, your current employer may start recruiting for your replacement. They can’t replace a valuable employee immediately, but while you’re enjoying your raise work may be going on behind the scenes to replace you with a more loyal and likely cheaper substitute.

  1. Did you want to leave your current role for just a raise?

Money is always a factor in job selection, but a study published in 2017 of over 30k exit interviews listed Career Development as the top reason for leaving and Compensation as the 4th most popular. You’ll probably be making more with a new position, but don’t let a few extra dollars from a counteroffer blind you to the reasons you wanted to leave your current employer.

It’s hard to say you should NEVER accept a counteroffer. Maybe your counteroffer comes with the dream job you’ve always wanted. Likely? No, but sometimes people do take advantage of loyalty and need a wakeup call. You shouldn’t have to threaten to leave to get what you want, and this can be minimized by having open and honest communication with your manager. Having a clear understanding of when raises and promotion opportunities occur can help to avoid the uncomfortable position of putting your notice in and then being pressured to accept a counteroffer.