Today’s Solutions: March 03, 2024

Starting a job search is like stepping onto a carousel of potential opportunities. Once you secure that amazing new job offer, the excitement is palpable. But what if, just as you’re about to embark on a new chapter, your existing employer surprises you with a counteroffer that seems too wonderful to pass up? It’s a conundrum that often confuses professionals. Linda Lautenberg and Judy Schoenberg, cofounders of EvolveMe, provide their insights and assist you in navigating counteroffers with finesse.

Decode the company’s intentions

Before going into a counteroffer dilemma, understand the motivations behind it. According to Lautenberg, “It might just be a genuine attempt to retain people and improve the situation.” Schoenberg offers perspective, arguing that organizations confronting talent poaching should deliberately counteroffer. Consider your company’s reputation, market position, and retention rates.

Reflect on career aspirations

Consider your initial reasons for looking for new employment before accepting a counteroffer. According to Schoenberg, “Taking a counteroffer can work if there’s openness about your career goals.” If the counteroffer matches your expectations in terms of salary and benefits, and provides a better career path, remaining there may be the best option. Lautenberg recommends that the counteroffer address the underlying causes of your desire to depart.

Evaluate career and life stage alignment

Evaluate where you are in your career and life journey. Schoenberg recommends asking, “What are my values right now? How does it play into the rest of my life? What are the skills I want to leverage?” Clarity on these points contributes to an unbiased pros-and-cons list. Determine whether the counteroffer or the new job better fits your current life stage and goals.

Consider market dynamics

In a competitive job market, assess your company’s position before accepting a counteroffer. Lautenberg urges caution if your organization is notorious for its frequent layoffs. Accepting a counteroffer in such a situation may indicate distrust and affect your standing in future layoffs. Evaluate your present employer’s stability and reputation in the larger labor market.

Honesty is the best policy

Regardless of your decision, honesty is essential. Schoenberg and Lautenberg believe that transparency is vital so that you don’t burn any bridges you may want to revisit in the future… If you accept the counteroffer, make sure to speak with every person you interviewed with right away. Express gratitude for their time and make it clear that your decision is definitive so that they don’t get the impression that you are trying to negotiate a better offer. Schoenberg also recommends being clear with your reasons for accepting the counteroffer without over-explaining your decision, since excessive detail may not be constructive.

Counteroffer decisions necessitate careful consideration of company aims, personal aspirations, career level, market circumstances, and, most importantly, honesty. Whether you choose the counteroffer or the new chance, handling the situation with decency and maturity assures that you make a good impression, regardless of which road you take.

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