Pri Chauhan – When you quit, expect a leaving card, cakes…and possibly a counter offer. But can you have your cake and eat it?


When you decide to leave the company you work for, you should expect two things:

A) A massive goodbye cake (probably bought from the local supermarket with petty cash).

B) A counter offer to try and keep you in the business.

If you accept a counter offer, you probably won’t get the cake, but it’s common to receive a counter offer either at the time you hand in your notice or during the notice period itself.

The question is, what does that mean for your decision to leave… and should it stop you from moving on?

You should think very carefully and be sure you have considered all your options. (Unless you are leaving to become an F1 Driver, in which case absolutely nothing should stand in your way). When it comes down to it, only you can make this choice but to try and help, we’ve made a list of the things you should think about:

If your resignation was purely a salary negotiation tool, then congratulations: the money is yours! This is not a tactic we would recommend as you risk failing to win a counter offer and having to actually resign when you don’t want to. This happens on numerous occasions in the aftermarket at various levels up to and including senior management jobs.

There are other, safer ways of getting a salary review, like just asking for one. If this is what it takes to be paid what you are worth, you should ask yourself if this is somewhere you want to be.

If your resignation wasn’t all about money then you need to work out what else is on offer. Consider these questions;

1) “What can the company do to reassure me that things will be different?”

2) “What would need to change for me to be happy?”

The truth is that the same circumstances that made you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future and you need to decide whether more money is enough to make it OK this time around.

In an ideal world a retracted resignation could just be swept under the rug and nothing would change, but once you’ve quit, it’s out there and you can’t take it back. The fact that you handed in your notice marks you out as different from the rest of the team; your boss knows you were willing to leave and that means you have the potential to do it again. If you need to work alone, perhaps outside normal hours, you might find that your boss is suddenly suspicious of your motives – and might ask to ‘borrow’ your key, which funnily enough, you won’t get back. The trust has gone and you might well be regarded as an outsider.

Statistics show the probability of voluntarily leaving within 6 months of accepting a counter offer is extremely high – around 80 percent. The same probability exists for employees being let go within a year of accepting a counter offer so keep that in mind before you turn down the chance to move on.

When it comes down to it, you have to decide whether the offer solves the problems that drove you to resign. With a few unfortunate exceptions, the decision to move to a new company should have little to do with ill feeling toward your current employer, and everything to do with personal growth. The most likely reason for you to have accepted a new role elsewhere is that you considered it to be the right step to take your career in the direction you want.

Before you accept a counter offer, sit down and ask yourself what you want out of life and what you want from your career. Be honest with yourself about what you need to do and where you need to be to achieve your goals. This is by far the most important thing to consider and should be the key influence on your decision.

Not every company will make a counter offer – and if they do, the offer made might not be financial.

In my experience (writes Editor Greg Whitaker) companies are far more likely to offer a ‘promotion’ to another role, or placate you that jam will be served tomorrow, when there will be more resources available for you to do your job. If you’ve made the decision to move on, as Pri says in the article, you should stick to it. Offers, (including non-financial ones) are rarely made in your interest, they are made because you company knows that it will no be easy to replace you.

For more on the subject, contact Pri on 0845 643 0497 or click pgautomotive.com

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