Should I accept a counter offer

Correct handling of a counter offer

Have you quit your job and have received a counter offer from your boss? Now it is important to make the right decision, because counter-offers attract at first glance with advantages - but you should still not accept them rashly.

Reject or accept a counter offer? In any case, proceed rationally!

Of course, it is flattering when your employer wants to keep you and even puts something “on top”. But before you make a rash decision about whether to accept or reject the counteroffer, you should answer these questions:

  1. What are your employer's motives for wanting to keep you as an employee?
  2. Who will benefit more if you accept the counteroffer - you or your employer?
  3. What is the content of the counter offer and what advantages does it offer you?
  4. What were your motivations and motives for quitting your current job?
  5. What are the advantages of the new job?
  6. Will your new job not only increase your performance in the new company, but also your market value?
  7. What development potential does the old employer offer and what does the new one offer?
  8. What role will you play in the old and the new company in the future?

The answers are a solid foundation on which to make your decision factually.

Why your employer makes a counter-offer: possible reasons and motives

A counter offer is always an indication that something has already gone wrong. Either you have received insufficient pay or your employer has failed to recognize your achievements beyond that. That is why it is important to research your employer's motives and reasons.

1. Weakening the position of your boss: Your previous supervisor has so far underestimated your qualities or did not appreciate them accordingly. Or he did not recognize your true market value until you gave notice. That doesn't exactly speak for the leadership qualities of your previous boss, who, in the worst case, will have to hear later that he has let go of a significant talent. In order to preserve his image, he makes you a counter offer.

2. High cost and time expenditure: The search for a new specialist or manager is associated with a high expenditure of time and money. And then there is the risk of a wrong choice. In this situation, it is easy for your boss to offer you a raise in return, for example, to get you to stay. It becomes even more difficult for him if you are a real specialist in your field, so that there are few alternatives to you on the job market. The better your qualifications and the more specific your specialist knowledge, the more likely he is to do everything possible to keep you.

3. Development of team dynamics: If you are the mainstay of a team, it can be difficult to close this gap quickly. Your employer makes you a counteroffer because he knows about the risk of team dynamics. Because other members of the team may follow suit and also quit. Depending on the size of the company, this can threaten its very existence.

4. Acute emergency: If it is difficult to find a replacement for you promptly and if this situation becomes a risk for the entire company due to the impending loss of productivity, the counter offer comes from an acute emergency.

Possible consequences if you accept the counter offer

The decision whether to accept or reject the counter offer is yours alone, because the consequences primarily affect you personally. Even if the counter offer is flattering for you at first, there are still some dangers lurking behind it:

Lack of loyalty to your current employer

The announcement or the announcement of your resignation resulted in your positioning yourself clearly. You have not only revealed your intentions to move, but by resigning you have also given up your previous loyalty to your boss, who will never forget this, so that your further opportunities for advancement may be limited.

Breaking your word with your new employer

If you accept the counter offer from your current boss, you have broken your word with your new employer. Then reveal yourself to be an opportunist who hangs his flag at the wind. You will certainly not be offered another job with this employer. The withdrawal can also massively damage your further career if you have been referred by a personnel consultant, because you have not kept to agreements and something like that does not leave a good impression.

Delaying tactics on the part of your previous employer

The counter offer from your boss could be a game for time until a suitable and inexpensive replacement has been found for you. One possible indication of the delaying tactic is the content of the counter offer. If it is a question of a higher bonus or more flexible working hours, but not more salary, the benefit for you is comparatively small and does not show any increased appreciation.

Your dissatisfaction with your previous job

Remember that you had a reason to quit your previous employer. This is a clear indication of your dissatisfaction with your previous job. Bonuses, more responsibility, maybe a company car or a raise may be attractive in the short term. But are they enough in the long term to compensate for deficits? In order to restore your job satisfaction in your old job, the counter offer would have to have a lasting and long-term effect. Otherwise it is pure waste.


Do not be fooled by the sudden charm offensive of your boss in the form of a counter offer after your resignation. Even if you feel flattered at first, you should know that your boss also has good reasons to make you a counter offer, and they are inevitably not selfless. This is why you should keep the big picture in mind. This includes your role in the old and the new company, the associated development potential as well as the freedom of choice and a job in which you can optimally use your skills, your specialist knowledge, your experience and talents. Because this is the only way to increase your market value in the long term.

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