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Why you shouldn't accept a counter offer

You've made up your mind to move on, accepted a position elsewhere, and tendered your resignation to your boss. Then, out of nowhere, a snag in your plan: a counter offer tempting you to stay at your current company.

The counter offer might lure you with more money, a promotion, or better benefits, and you might consider saying "Okay!" But it's rarely a good idea.

Let's face it, counter offers are usually a case of "too little, too late." Chances are pretty good that your decision to move on from your current job wasn't just about money. If it was, you would have asked for a raise (and gotten it, if they valued you). Once your decision to leave is solidified enough to actually resign, changing your mind can be bad for your own morale and for your relationship with company leadership.

50 to 80 percent of people leave their employer within six months of accepting a counter offer. It's easy to make promises to retain employees. 

How it feels to you

Why did you imagine moving on in the first place? Be honest with yourself and revisit your original list of reasons for wanting to leave - things that go beyond money, like your relationship with your boss or coworkers, the company culture, and the workload. If you look closely, you'll probably realize that the counter offer doesn't resolve them all.

How it looks to the other company

Worst of all, you'll be burning a bridge with the company who had already agreed to hire you. And when things don't work out with your current job, good luck getting them to consider you again!

There are always exceptions

Of course, there are always exceptions to the "never accept a counter offer" rule, and your situation might be unique. But before you decide to stay, be very honest with yourself - and them. Regardless of your feelings about leaving, always be gracious in the face of a counter offer. A polite, smiling "Thank you. But, I think it is time to move on." is sure to keep you in your present organization's good graces on your way out the door.

If you want to learn more about the career advice, please click here.

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