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How to handle a counter-offer

Resigning from your job might not be as easy as you expected. What happens if you've accepted your dream role but when you go to quit, your employer shows you a tempting offer instead of a farewell handshake? 


Weigh up your options

Counter offers should be expected, as nobody wants to lose their best people. Although your mind should already be made up, it’s essential to weigh up both the new job and counter-offer to see which is best for you.  

Remember why you wanted to leave

It's important to remember why you planned to leave in the first place. Ask yourself why your employer is suddenly showing their appreciation for you. Is it only because keeping you on is less hassle than searching for your replacement?

In our experience, most people who accept counter-offers find themselves looking for a new job two to six months later because their situation was the same and the reason/s that lead them to look for a new job initially still hadn’t been resolved.

Be aware of trust issues

Most people who accept counter-offers find themselves looking for a new job two to six months later because their situation was the same and the reason/s that lead them to look for a new job initially still hadn’t been resolved.

At the end of the day, if you stay, you’re more than likely going to be perceived as disloyal to management for looking elsewhere for a job.


If you do decide to accept the counter-offer and stay with your current company you will need to work hard to regain your employer’s faith and a good deal of effort will be required to recreate the trust within your company.

Unfortunately they may no longer see you as loyal to the company and you may be in line to lose your job if the company was to restructure.

Don't burn bridges

If you do decide to refuse a counter offer, don’t burn bridges. Tell your employer you’ve made the difficult decision to take another job, and that you came to it after much thought. This is not the time to say that you felt undervalued and that you had a dreadful time at the company.

Your boss may have lots of influence on references in the future. Tell your manager that you've enjoyed your time at the company and have gained invaluable experience.

Talk to your Robert Walters consultant

Knowing how to handle counter offers can be  difficult, so if you’re unsure speak to your Robert Walters consultant for more advice.

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