How to tackle a counter offer when handing in your notice

Apr 8, 2019 12:18:07 PM

You have summoned up the courage and have confidently walked into your managers office ready to hand over your notice. A split-second shocked expression hits their face and they look to you as if to say, “Damn, I did not see this coming, why are you breaking up with the brand and me?”. But instead they look to you and say, “What can I or the company do to make you stay?”.

It would be easier if they just said a nice goodbye wouldn’t it? The second you hear the words counter offer you immediately start to doubt your decision – I hate to state the obvious but that is the point. It is a huge compliment that your current company is going to fight to get you to stay so do not take it as a pain (although it can seem that way).

Dollar, dollar bills

This blog may contain some truths that you had not considered before but that is okay, we will work it out. The first unpleasant truth, has it ever crossed your mind when your manager presents an increase in salary, “Why are you just telling me this now? Could I of had a pay rise this entire time?” Every company and brand no matter what the size will have wiggle room when it comes to salaries and especially counter offers. If they paid the full top end, absolute limit then there would be no room for you to improve and grow, plus get a salary increase. Of course, this is not always the case and some companies can be stingy when it comes to money – but that is a blog for another day.

If salary is your main and only reason for starting your job search then if your current company offers an increase, it can solve all problems! But, consider this, could you have gone about this another way? Looking for jobs online around work, or when your manager walks to get coffee is time consuming. Attending interviews and having a few weeks of doctor’s appointments and dental appointments in work time is time consuming. Plus, to top it all off, you have given the new company the glimmer of hope that their vacancy has been filled. So, if money is the only thing you dislike about your role, then speak to your manager before job searching. If they say they cannot do anything, then you know it is time to get job hunting!


Ready for that step up? Have you been waiting for what feels like forever for a promotion? Sometimes the best way to get that next stage of your career under your belt, is to move to a new company that has that progression ladder available. But what do you do if you are sweating through the resignation meeting and your manager offers a promotion for you to stay? Again, it can feel a little like an after thought if they only offer something as you are about to leave.

The main thing to do when this is offered if to ask for a plan of responsibilities that would fall to you if you decided to stay. That way you can compare between the new job description and your potential new role. Do not worry about asking for this or that you need time to think as it is a big decision. It may be that they are only offering the title, no pay rise with the new title, or a role that will not be as full and fulfilling as the new job. (You do not want to bore and be back in the same position in 6 months’ time do you?)

All the same, if your immediate reaction is that you want to take that next step up in a new environment and with new challenges – then do not second guess yourself.

Go in armed and ready

Whether you have enjoyed your time in your role, or you cannot wait to leave, it is always best to walk out with your head held high. At the same time, your manager will 99% of the time ask for feedback on why you are leaving and what you think the company can do to improve etc. Now I know the temptation to go in guns blazing and insulting all the colleagues and managers you hated is almost to overwhelming to ignore, but there is a little thing called references that you should consider. Your new brand may want one and it will not go down well if you have completely slated half of the company. Please remember – companies talk. Especially within the same industry, you do not want word to get around of your outburst.

If done correctly, there is a right way to you expressing your annoyances without using words beginning with ‘f’, ‘d’ and ‘b’. You are leaving for a reason, so take those into the meeting with you or provide them upon request. You could be making life much better for your replacement. It can also help reaffirm in your own mind as to why you are leaving, which makes the resignation and counter offer process much easier.

I know it is easier said than done, but do not panic. Remain calm and remember why you are doing this. At the end of the day it is your career and your life you must put first and each progressive step in your jobs is never one to disregard. Whether you realise it or not your current position has taught you a lot, so do not see leaving as a bad thing but as an appreciation that you are ready for more.


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