How to Know When You Should Accept a Counteroffer

It’s a big day! After months of interviewing and looking for a new position, you’ve landed a great offer for a new job. You’re excited about it but also a little nervous to turn in your resignation. Plus, in truth, you like the people you work with, it just feels like it should be time to move on. 

In a surprising turn of events, your current manager makes you a counteroffer — maybe it’s more money or better benefits, maybe it’s more time off or more flexibility. 

Is it ever a good idea to accept a counteroffer to stay where you are? 

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Weigh the pros and cons.

    Do you like your current job enough that you don’t really want to leave? Does the new job offer you opportunities that feel out of reach where you work now? Do you really enjoy your coworkers, or are they the reason you’re looking to switch companies? If the only thing making you look around is pay, and your current job is matching or exceeding the offer from the potential new employer, it might be reason enough to accept it. 

  • Why were you looking in the first place?

    People tend to start looking for a new position because they feel they deserve better pay, better opportunities for advancement, or new challenges. Can your current company provide those things, putting them in writing if needed, as part of their counteroffer? Is there a sense that your manager will work with you to iron out the bumps and make this a better working environment for you to eliminate or reduce whatever frustrations you might be feeling?

  • What would change if you stayed?

    You’ve worked in this position for a while. You know the company, the culture, the management. With that in mind, do you feel like your personal situation would be improved if you stayed, based on what you know and what your counteroffer included? Was your manager surprised to learn you were considering leaving the company, and do they seem eager and sincere in trying to get you to stay? If you’re mostly happy in your current job but are going to leave to get more pay, and your manager meets and/or exceeds the offered pay, that plus the fear that you were almost snatched away could be enough to greatly improve your situation. But if you’re in a rut, it could all be lip service because hiring someone else is more difficult than giving you more money to stay. 

  • Does the new job better meet your personal needs?

    Sometimes there’s nothing a company can do to keep you onboard because you need something it can’t offer. If your new company offers you flexibility in scheduling or working location, something that’s needed based on family circumstances, that might be the deciding factor. And that’s ok! Your current company might offer more money or improve your benefits, but that might not be enough to address any change in your life that requires a new job. Be honest with your current manager, and yourself, about these factors if they apply. 

  • Is there an extenuating circumstance in your current job that compels you to stay?

    Every once in a while, things outside of our immediate control force our hands and require us to change our minds. If, after getting your new offer, there’s a crisis or sudden change in your current company that makes you feel obligated to stay and help out, give that some consideration. You might be kicking the decision down the proverbial road, and in six months, you might reconsider your job status, but if there’s an unexpected emergency or problem that you feel responsible to stay and help work through, it could be worth considering if you are in an important position that needs to be steady to help see the team through. 

Ultimately, consider the pros and cons of leaving, how your life will benefit from changing jobs or staying and whether you will be happier in a new position compared to where you are. Sometimes it might be worth staying where you are and accepting a counteroffer if you don’t really believe the grass will be greener on the other side of the fence. 

If you’re conflicted about what to do, or if the counteroffer fails to make your work situation better, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have excellent partner companies looking for skilled workers like you who would welcome the chance to have you join their team. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work!