You’ve just walked into a trap known as the counteroffer.
You may hear flattery, mixed with a guilt trip. The CEO wants to meet with you before you decide. You’re too valuable to lose. Your team depends on you. We’ll be in a bind if you desert us. If you’re good at your job, these compliments are probably at least partially true, which makes them all the harder to ignore.
Your boss may try to undermine your perceptions about your new employer, disparaging their reputation or sharing with you some scuttlebutt you may not be privy to. Most likely, you’ll be offered come increased compensation, such as a raise, a promotion, a change in responsibility or reporting structure that will make your job more appealing.
If you accept it, the search for your replacement will likely begin the moment you go back to your desk.
If you’re leaving because you’re dissatisfied, it’s highly unlikely anything significant will change to make you happy if you stay, no matter what they promise. After the dust settles, you’ll be in the same rut you were in before.
We’ve observed through interviews with our candidates and clients, that over 80 percent of those who accept counteroffers either leave voluntarily or are terminated within six months, and that half of the employees who succumb to the counteroffer trap reinitiate their job search within 90 days.
Ask yourself these questions:
The key people in that organization will not forget you, but what they will be thinking of you will not be good. It is a very small world. People talk. If your name ever surfaces you can be sure they will retell the story of how you accepted and then took a counteroffer.
Your reputation is at stake. Guard it. You have made a good decision. Stick with it.