(Hint: Do so with gratitude and respect, and think twice before accepting a counteroffer).

You just received a great offer from an awesome future employer, and you are delivering your resignation to your current boss. But your boss asks if you would stay for another $10,000 and a premium parking spot right next to their own. What do you do? Our experience indicates that it’s better for you (and your employer) to just move on. Here are a few reasons why you should never accept a counteroffer:

  • Their counteroffer doesn’t erase the reasons why you were considering a move in the first place
  • 9 out of 10 counteroffers result in the employee leaving the company – voluntarily or involuntarily – within less than 6 months
  • You didn’t get the extra $10K (or a parking spot) before this because they didn’t think you were worth it
  • The money they are offering you now may be considered during your next pay raise
  • When it comes time for growth opportunities, you will fall to the bottom of the list because your boss knows that you barely want to stay
  • Your boss now knows that you’re not happy and will always consider you a flight risk
  • If your team falls on hard times, you may be the first team member to get cut

Many employers make counter-offers to avoid the immediate pain of a team vacancy, but they don’t consider the complications that can come if the counteroffer is accepted. Make sure that you avoid these pitfalls by never accepting a counteroffer. Your career will be better off for it!

So how do you respectfully refuse a counteroffer and avoid burning bridges with your current employer? You do it very carefully by following these rules:

  • Thank them for their counter offer but express your desire to leave the company on a good note despite not accepting the offer
  • Respectfully thank your employer for bringing you aboard and outline all of the great things that you were able to learn and achieve during your tenure
  • Explicitly say that you considered both options carefully and came to the conclusion based on what you feel is best for your career

Remember – the experiences and skills you gained during your time with your current employer helped you to get this new role, so always be grateful and gracious as you leave the team!


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