How to handle a counter offer?

Imagine you have been working as a programmer for 5 years in the same company. One day, you received a call from a recruiting agency called Venturenix, telling you that your Linkedin profile was sharp and would like to match your qualification with an incredible job. You are flattered because you have never been headhunted before.

You give it a go and go through a few rounds of interview. Luckily, they are willing to offer you a mid-level job with way better remuneration package than your current job. Ecstatic, you decide to hand in resignation letter the next day.

Instead of accepting your letter, your boss makes you an appealing counter-offer to make you re-consider your resignation. What should you do?


1. Do you feel recognised?

Your sense of belonging gradually fade away because you feel undervalued in the role. You work 10 hours straight every day without any encouragement from the management. They simple take it for granted.

Now, think about this: if you’re worth your 5% raise, why wasn’t your ability recognized before you handed in your resignation notice?

Does your superior ask you to stay because they truly appreciate your value, or is it because they can’t hire a replacement in such a short period of time?

If it is the latter, then you should seize the opportunity and take the new job offer.  

2. It’s time to re-negotiate

Be honest with your employer if he asks you the true reason for leaving. It might be a wake-up call for them that they were not attuned to you after all this time.

If you are still pondering about the resignation, it is the best time to voice concerns, even demands.

“I am not able to devote quality time to my family when I have to work overtime.”

“I would like to take some short-term courses after work. But I’m not able to do so because of my heavy work.”

If you employer cares about your career ambition or work-life balance, and genuinely want you to stay, he would propose solutions, such as adjusting your working hours or even funding your education.

3.Is there any room for growth and opportunity in your current career?

The key to happiness at work is not the financial reward. It’s personal growth and job satisfaction.

If your current job fails to provide work-life balance, job opportunity, benefits and career growth, a 5% raise is not going to make a huge difference.

All in all, do not let the seemingly enticing counter-offer cloud your judgement. Look at the bigger picture and consider whether it’s worth it to stay.