You’ve been interviewing for new tech opportunities and now, seemingly all at once, you get multiple offers! To make matters even more complicated, one of these opportunities is a counter offer from your current employer. While this is certainly not a bad position to be in, deciding whether you should be accepting a counter offer can be challenging.
“Employers are ramping up their IT hiring plans to ensure their organization can stay competitive with evolving tech trends,” says Lisa Samson, a Director at ES Technology, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “Facing low unemployment and critical skills shortages, organizations are having a difficult time filling their open positions. Not only are they getting more competitive with each other for top talent, but they are also extending counter offers to hold onto their star employees.”
If you are thinking about accepting a counter offer, it’s important to consider a variety of factors before you make your final decision. To ensure you keep your career on the right track, here are four things to keep in mind about counter offers:
It’s a short-term solution
Since more money is typically what is offered when an employer counters, job seekers make the mistake of thinking that accepting a counter offer will solve all their problems. “Don’t be blinded by a salary increase or any other perks you’re offered if it does not address your main reason(s) for wanting to leave,” says Lisa. “If you were leaving in hopes of growth opportunities, new challenges, or a different company culture, a salary increase would only serve as a short-term fix for a long-term problem.”
It can impact your ability to learn new skills
Many tech professionals ultimately decide to pursue new opportunities to gain exposure to newer technologies and programming languages. “If you were leaving to learn new skills, accepting a counter offer can hinder your technical abilities,” warns Lisa. “You can never really know that your company is going to move to better or more updated technologies, even if they promise that during a counter offer.”
It can close future doors
Even in the best-case scenario in which you attain all your goals, you still run the risk of damaging your reputation in the tech industry. This is especially important regarding future job searches. In an Execu|Search survey on counter offers, for example, 80% of employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving within six months.
“It’s easy for the employer who took the time to make you an offer to feel insulted and pass on the word when you return to your old company,” warns Lisa. “When you find yourself back in the job market, the employer you turned down a position with will be less likely to make you another offer.”
It can harm your reputation at work
Since your manager and your team knows that you have one foot out the door, you risk negatively affecting your relationships with your colleagues. This could decrease your level of productivity, impacting your collaborative efforts, and eventually force you to consider leaving again.
Despite these considerations, receiving a counter offer when resigning can certainly make you rethink your job search. “While it may feel easier to stick with the option that seems most familiar or comfortable to you, it’s important to remind yourself of why you decided to look for a new job in the first place,” advises Lisa. “Instead of accepting a counter offer on the spot, try talking out your options with a trusted third party like a friend or a recruiter you’ve built a relationship with. They can help you take the time to ensure you are making the right decision for your career.”