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How to respond to Counteroffers when handing in your Notice

Posted on 15 Mar, 2022

Here at Careers in Design, we are all about finding the right job for the right individual. Of course, accepting your new job means leaving your old one. Usually this is a straightforward affair. You submit your formal resignation letter, work however many weeks’ notice are required by your contract, complete an exit interview with your line manager, and walk out the door with no hard feelings.

On occasion, however, your manager (or their manager, depending on the corporate structure at your current job) may make a counteroffer to the one you have on the table in an effort to entice you to stay. This might involve more money, more benefits, promotion to a more prominent role in the company, or a combination of the three.

Should I accept the counteroffer?

Ultimately, this decision is down to you, but there are several questions you should ask yourself first:

Why were you looking for another job in the first place?
Was it just for the money? Most of the designers who sign up with Careers in Design are looking more fulfilling roles and career progression rather than just an increase in salary.

Why didn’t they offer you this deal before?
Most employers have annual staff evaluations. If your work is deserving of this kind of deal, why has it taken you handing in your notice for your current employer to recognise it?

Why didn’t they know you weren’t satisfied with your role?
Applying for a new job with another company rarely happens on a whim. There must have been signs that you weren’t happy in your current position. You’d like to think your manager would pick up on these things.

Has anything actually changed?
Sure you might be getting a bigger paycheque, but the underlying problems you had with the company – lack of opportunity, lack of management support, stagnation, and so on – are still there. This is why more than 60% of employees who accept counteroffers still end up leaving the firm within six months.

Declining a counteroffer

Whilst it might be tempting to tear up the counteroffer, turn your back on your boss, and storm out of the meeting room in a blaze of glory, it’s never a good idea to burn your bridges. You never know if you might end working for (or with) that company again, especially if your new role sees you operating in similar circles.

Thank your manager for the counteroffer but explain to them that your new role offers too much in terms of growth or opportunity for you to be able to turn it down. Try to couch it in terms of personal development, rather than cold, hard cash, as this makes it easier for them to concede the point with good grace.

Be respectful and confirm that you want to make the transition period as smooth as it can be for yourself and the company. This will help with project hand-overs and tidying up loose ends and thank them for the opportunities they have given you.

Most importantly, take the time to consider the counteroffer, even if you have no intention of accepting it and it comes too late. At the very least, it shows you were willing to contemplate staying, which puts you in good stead for the future.

If you are ready to move on in your career be sure to sign up with Careers in Design today to have access to the latest industry vacancies.

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