Bridge Insights

Should You Take That Counteroffer? 5 Questions to Ensure You’re Making the Right Decision

Apr 22, 2021

Most job seekers believe the process of obtaining a new job is straightforward: you apply, interview, and if you’re lucky, you’ll receive a job offer. If you don’t? Rinse and repeat.

In reality, job searching is far more nuanced than playing a game of large numbers.  For some professionals, what happens after they receive a job offer can leave them with quite the dilemma.

What do you do if you notify your current employer that you’ve found another offer and they make a counteroffer? A competitive counteroffer.

Here are four questions to ask yourself when considering a counteroffer:

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What Made You Look for a New Role, to Begin With?

There are many reasons why people begin a job search: issues with culture, health benefits, management styles, and work-life balance are some common reasons.  If any of these were motivating factors in your decision to look for a new job, a pay increase won’t change them.

Although the saying, “money solves all problems” exists for a reason, you need to ask yourself if the counteroffer is enough to make up for the reasons why you began a job search in the first place.

The last thing you want to do is reject a role that would improve your quality of life and, instead, take a job that gives you a bigger paycheck but makes you unhappy. Chances are, if you do, you’ll have that bigger paycheck and still be just as unhappy a few months down the road.

Will Staying Mark You as a Flight Risk?

If you are receiving a counteroffer, officially, that means you have put in a resignation with your employer. From an HR standpoint, counteroffers are made in the hopes that you will withdraw your resignation. However, your supervisor and colleagues may see this process from a different viewpoint.

From their perspective, if you were able to find a new opportunity once, there’s nothing truly stopping you from leaving again when another opportunity presents itself. Choosing to stay will undoubtedly change dynamics. You may be passed over for promotions because you’ve shown you’re a high risk from a loyalty standpoint.

You may even find relationships with your colleagues have shifted because the foundation of team solidarity is damaged, and if there is a promotion opportunity, your company may choose a different employee who they feel is a safer pick from a longevity standpoint.

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What Opportunities Will Each Offer Bring Me?

Sometimes accepting a job isn’t about where it will get you today, but where it can take you tomorrow. Think about the new doors each offer will open. Will this opportunity take you one step closer to your professional dreams, or will it be more of the same?

It is important to look beyond the salary amount of the counteroffer and try to envision if staying in your current role will help you achieve your long-term goals.  If the answer is no, you may want to consider still moving on to a company that will help you live up to your highest potential.

Are you Burning a Bridge?

Recruiting and interviewing to fill a position takes a lot of time and effort from hiring managers. If you go through the entire interview process and accept an offer, the hiring manager has already invested a lot of time in you and is expecting it to pay off.

If you have been offered a position, this means they have closed the position and are now focusing on preparing your onboarding and training program.  If you choose to accept a counteroffer from your current employer and rescind your acceptance, chances are it will leave someone with a bad taste in their mouth.

You never know where you will cross paths with all the people involved in your hiring and onboarding process–especially if you work in a specialized industry. It’s always best practice to explore all of your options before taking action on your final decision.


Making the Best Decision for You

It is exciting to receive a new job offer and can be doubly exciting to receive a counteroffer from your current employer. But two offers can sometimes be too much of a good thing. The decision on whether to take a new role or accept a counteroffer completely personal. However, using these four questions to help you weigh the pros and cons of each offer can help you make the best decision for you and your career.