The True Cost of a Counteroffer – 10 reasons why accepting a counteroffer is the riskier decision

We’ve been waiting for Great Resignation to happen, but instead, we’re seeing the Great Counteroffer.

A counteroffer is when your employer is motivated by your resignation to offer you a pay rise or promotion.

“Receiving a counteroffer is very appealing, especially if you like your workplace and your colleagues. But, it has so many risks associated with it,” said Daniel Marsh, Managing Director at Blake Oliver Consulting.


We’ve outlined the fine print of accepting a counteroffer, and why you shouldn’t take it.

  1. You burn a bridge by rescinding your job acceptance and you’re not likely to be hired by that same company in the future.
  2. Job security decreases after accepting a counteroffer; if the company needs to make redundancies you’ll be at the top of the list as you have broken loyalty by trying to leave.
  3. Some employers give counteroffers to buy time to find a replacement willing to work at a lower rate.
  4. It’s hard to feel valued when you only receive a pay rise after resigning. If you were truly valued you would have received a pay rise when it was deserved.
  5. Money is rarely the only reason you are wanting to leave and doesn’t fix other problems such as lack of career progression, poor work/life balance, non-thriving culture, etc.
  6. If you applied for another job, interviewed, and accepted another position, it’s hard to maintain satisfied in your current role by earning some more money.
  7. Employers may start demanding more of you due to your new salary.
  8. You are likely to have more career progression at a new company, compared to your existing job where you already threatened to leave.
  9. A counteroffer is proof that they were holding out on you as they had money in the budget to give you a pay rise earlier.
  10. After a counteroffer, it may be a long time before you receive another pay rise… potentially it’ll take leaving again.

If you receive a counteroffer, you’re entitled to ask for a day or two to consider it. This way you can explore your options and the future impact of your decision.

In various studies, between 50-90% of people who accept a counteroffer resign within 12 months. This is mostly due to money not being the main reason they were looking to change jobs.

To decline a counteroffer, all you have to do is say, “Thank you for the offer, I am flattered, but I have already made a commitment to another company and I am looking forward to my next chapter.”

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