Counteroffer! You quit your awful job, but your old boss suddenly tells you about plans for future promotions, glory, and fame! The actual President (not of the
United States, but close enough) came to ask you to stay. It makes so much sense to stay, right?
In the words of the world-famous Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”
90% of people who take a counteroffer are
looking for a new job in 6 months.
The rate approaches 100% after a year. Counteroffers are forced. They desperately need someone in your position.
You quitting is a “Fear Factor” moment for your old boss. They are scared and desperate. For the next three months, you have an excellent job! Then they ignore their promises. Even worse, you get canned. They were using the time to find a replacement for you.
You’ve been eating cockroach puree for years at that job. Their compensation to get you to stay is a 20% raise and an office. Will that make the cockroach puree taste better? Nope. There is a point where money can’t pay you to keep your job.
A few weeks ago, I had someone working in a large city say they were making well over 500k per year. They also said they’d accept a job offer as low as 120k. This guy had been eating cockroaches for so long that he was willing to cut his pay to a fifth of what he was earning before.
Recognize your limit. Money doesn’t make you happy,
but your job can make you miserable.
He probably wouldn’t accept any counteroffer from that company because it’s just not worth it, and he recognized that. On the other hand, I’ve had many, many people stay because of fabulous counteroffers when they were just about to leave. Absolutely amazing, just like I said before: promotions, fame, glory! Not to mention a hefty raise.
And… they quit. Again. At the new job, the pay was lower, less vacation, all with more boring responsibilities. The real issue was the company. The company didn’t change. Opportunities stayed the same.
They were only treated well when they were
(accidentally) blackmailing their boss.
As you read a few posts back, you don’t want to work at a place where you must threaten your boss to get what you deserve. Don’t take a counteroffer if you’re seriously underpaid or underappreciated. They won’t change. If you go back to them, they’ll treat you as poorly as before, assuming they even give you what they promised.
I must admit, I see some counteroffers and say, “How can they refuse to stay?” Inevitably that person is soon gone. Why? Their job was so bad that it took a huge bribe to get them to stay. The size of the bribe indicates the true foulness of the position.
Think about it. If you are offered a huge reward to stay, you were robbed for the previous year. Will they also offer a year’s back pay as an immediate bonus? If they do, how about for the year before that? How guilty is their conscience?
Don’t accept a counteroffer. The chances are less than 1 in 30 that it will work out. No matter how much they pay you, a cockroach milkshake is still a cockroach milkshake. Whipped cream with a cherry on top doesn’t fix the problem.
Something To Do Today
Put together a portfolio and ask your boss for a raise or promotion if that’s what would keep you there. If they won’t give it to you freely, don’t accept it as the fruits of a counteroffer.