Receive a Counteroffer? Here’s What to Do


You’ve been looking for a new job for a while. When you finally land an offer – and accept, you submit your resignation to your boss. But then they offer you more money or a better position if you stay. What should you do? Here are 6 tips to help you handle this stressful situation.

Tip #1: Stick to your guns.

Even if the counteroffer is a huge step up, research shows that 80% of people who stay with their company and accept a counteroffer then leave in six months. Oftentimes, that’s because the decision to resign involves more than just money. It’s typically also about a lack of advancement, culture, flexibility, company leadership, and various other factors. Even the best counteroffer in the world won’t change those.

Not only that, but if you do accept, you’re always going to be perceived as disloyal by management. Your boss is likely caught up in a moment of panic and doesn’t want to see you leave. But if you don’t – and you accept the counteroffer – expect them to watch over your shoulder a lot more closely. Is that the type of environment you want to work in? Probably not; which why you should politely turn them down.

Tip #2: Expect strong emotions.

Oftentimes, leaving a job (especially one you’ve been at for a long time) can feel like a break-up – for both parties involved. So don’t be surprised when your boss and co-workers have strong emotions about the situation. But don’t let that sway you to change your mind.

Tip #3: Don’t burn bridges.

If you’re leaving because you feel totally undervalued or think company leadership is inept, it’s best to keep those thoughts to yourself. You don’t want to burn any bridges should you want to use your boss as a reference down the line. Instead, simply let them know you appreciate their mentorship and learned a lot from them.

Tip #4: Don’t use it as a bargaining chip.

Some people use a job offer as a bargaining chip to get a raise at their current company. Don’t be one of them. This is tantamount to a threat and a risky approach to take. It’s also completely unfair to the company you accepted your new offer from.

Rather, if you wanted to stay in your current role – just with an increased salary or different responsibilities – you should have talked to your boss about it before you launched a new job search. Remember that for next time.

Tip #5: Act with integrity.

Always be honest with all parties involved in the situation. If you don’t plan to accept a counteroffer from your boss, but tell them you’ll think it over, you’re essentially leading them on. Firmly, but graciously, let them know you’ve made up your mind so they can start searching for your replacement. When you act honestly and with integrity, people remember and appreciate that. And you never know when you’ll be back on the job market in search of a new opportunity.

Tip #6: Talk to your recruiter.

If you found your new job through a recruiter at an employment agency, give them a call and talk to them about the situation right after you resign. Your recruiter can be a wonderful source of support throughout the experience. Not only that, but as an employment expert, they can offer you even more insight and advice on dealing with these tricky workplace situations.

Interested in getting professional job search help from recruiting experts?

Call the team at Morgan Hunter. As one of Kansas City’s most trusted employment agencies, we spend time one-on-one, speaking to you about what you want. We also ask questions that go beyond experience to career aspirations and interests. That’s how we can connect you to top jobs that are the best fit for you. Contact us to learn more or search our jobs in Kansas City and Overland Park now.