The unemployment rate is at an historic low. Because of this, employers are pretty desperate to keep their current staff. When an employee turns in a resignation, companies frequently turn to counter offers as a defensive strategy. Don’t be fooled. Make no mistake – they’re being made to benefit the company, not you.

A Short-Term Fix

Statistically, over 80% of employees don’t stay at their current job for more than six months after announcing their departure. Despite this number, 60-70% of people accept counter offers to stick around–without taking into account the long-term ramifications. The motivation? Usually fear of life outside the job, or comfort where they already are. 

Was money really the only reason you decided to look elsewhere for a job? Probably not. More money won’t solve for a stressful work environment, a manager with an inability to communicate effectively, a company that doesn’t treat their employees with respect, or a career path that you are longing for. 

Familiarity Over Opportunity

In some cases, you might be tempted to stick around after receiving a counteroffer because your employer has painted a pretty picture. 

Picture what they might say:

Do you really want to leave us? We’re willing to pay you more money! If you leave now, you’re abandoning what you know. Having to train for a new job at a new company is stressful and time-consuming.  

By accepting a counteroffer, you’re forgoing a growth opportunity. You’re missing out on the chance to become more versatile and nimble as you advance on your career path. Have courage and faith in yourself. 

But What If…?

You’re right. In some cases, your company might not just want you to stick around, they need you. You are highly irreplaceable. Your job is extremely niche. Losing you would grossly impact your organization. The counteroffer you get is likely to be a lot more competitive.

If this is your reality, though, why weren’t you offered a better deal sooner? The Harvard Business Review suggests a preemptive intervention would have made more sense than waiting for you to tell them you’re going to leave. If your current employer values you, they’ll make that clear by prioritizing your happiness in the workplace. Don’t believe it? Check out what David Preston wrote about in his blog about how employers should build relationships from the moment a potential employee walks into the room.

Put Yourself First

If you’re ready to leave, explore your options. Give yourself permission to do so. Recruiters want to put you with a company who wants the same things you do, and we’re good at what we do. I previously wrote what I learned from working in other industries. 

The ideal opportunity is out there. Let us help you find it.


~Anne Drury has 14 years of experience in the recruiting field and joined PeopleSuite in 2018. She makes a killer risotto, read the Game of Thrones books (!) and is passionate about raising her two boys into strong men.

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