If you’re reading this, then I’m
guessing the past couple of months have been quite the journey for you. After
some careful contemplation, you realised that for whatever reason you weren’t
happy in your role, and you made the decision to leave.
Following a period of dedicated
job searching, which involved meeting your recruiter (hopefully from ARC Talent)
and developing this relationship, building your online brand, and sending off
tailored applications, you were asked to interview for a promising new opportunity.
After a series of interviews with the key decision makers, much to your
delight, you were offered the job. Then, after all of that, your current
employer threw you a curve ball and made you a counter offer, one which you
found hard to turn down.
Whilst you were flattered at the
time, the initial excitement soon wore off, only to be replaced with a sinking
feeling in the pit of your stomach, one which said that you have, perhaps, made
a huge mistake.
Some of our research recently
found that when employees received a counter offer, 48% decided to leave anyway
and 68% left within a year. So, you are not alone. But, before you make any
sudden moves, check for the below signs that this counter offer was definitely
1. Nothing has really changed
What were your reasons for
leaving in the first place? For example, maybe you felt like you didn’t have a
great work-life balance, and, to add insult to injury, the commitment you were
putting into your job was going unnoticed. Do you feel these issues have been
rectified, or is everything exactly the same as it was before?
More often than not, counter
offers include some great material perks; a higher salary, stock options and so
forth. But they don’t always acknowledge the deeper reasons behind the employee’s
motivation for looking for another role elsewhere, such as a lack of true
workplace fulfilment, a passion for what they do, the opportunity for personal
growth, and a sense of purpose. These are the things that material benefits
simply can’t make up for.
2. Things are actually worse than before
If you are being truthful with
yourself, is work actually worse than it was before? Maybe you are left
wondering why on earth your employer didn’t try harder to keep you until you
handed in your notice. Surely they could see you were unhappy, and if they
couldn’t, well then that says it all. Perhaps your employer is demanding more
from you as a result of your new salary package, despite the fact that, in your
eyes, the counter offer is simply a fair reflection of the job you have been
doing for months, or even years. Or maybe your colleagues have distanced
themselves from you, losing trust because you were initially going to abandon
ship. Whatever the case may be, you dread going into work more than before.
3. Your inner voice is screaming out to you
Contrary to the above, perhaps
you have all of the rewards and responsibilities that you were hoping for as a
result of accepting the counter offer. Perhaps your colleagues are thrilled
that you are staying and are making you feel more welcome than ever before. But
still something just doesn’t feel right. Although you can’t consciously
pinpoint what is wrong, certain parts of your job may be bringing you down,
whether it’s the subtle office politics at play or the lack of innovative and
inspirational leaders. Whatever it is, your inner voice is telling you to
leave. If this is the case, I would advise you listen to it.
What to do next
If you were blindsided by a
lavish counter offer, then rest assured, you’re not the first, and you
certainly won’t be the last. But now it’s time to be completely honest with
yourself about what you do want from your career. Write down what you are
looking for beyond the material perks. Perhaps it’s a better workplace culture,
a more motivating boss or better progression opportunities. Think about what
your current employer is lacking, and how your next employer will need to be
be too hard on yourself about your decision to take that counter offer. After
all, you gave your current employer a second chance to meet your career needs,
and for whatever reason, these needs haven’t been met. At least now you have
solidified in your mind what it is you truly want from your next move. When you
look at it from this perspective, accepting that counter offer was less of a
mistake and more of a learning curve, one which will help guarantee that your
next step is a successful one.