How do you guys handle counter offers?



  • How do you guys handle counter offers? I’ve been offered a new job with a 19% pay increase. I networked the new job with a former colleague from years past. My current employer is asking me to give them a number I would need to be at to stay after providing my notice today. I have the opinion that you become tainted once your employer knows you were searching for a job.

    The job offer gives you leverage to ask for a raise but more often you are looking for change more than the raise. I’m in that situation now and my current employer is asking me for a number to get me to stay. I’m at the point where it would need to be a 50% raise to even consider anything. My current employer has hinted on looking to accommodate the 50% raise. I’m debating if I should play the counter offer game or not. I know it’s a very personal decision, but I respect members of this community opinions and would appreciate any feedback.



  • Would the new job still be available to you 3 or 6 months down the road if you accept the counter offer and it doesn't work out later?



  • @Obsolesce No, I've been told I was the first pick and if I don't accept, they will offer the job to someone else.



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @Obsolesce No, I've been told I was the first pick and if I don't accept, they will offer the job to someone else.

    If you take the new job, how long until you'd be at the 50% anyways via raises? Or close enough.



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    How do you guys handle counter offers?

    I never, ever consider them. Once you are in the situation to get one, it's too late and it's a red herring. If they felt you were worth it before (and you felt that they were worth staying at), you wouldn't be in the current situation.

    It's a poisoned well. If you stay, the relationship is ruined.

    If you stay, you also burn the bridge with the company that had way, way more faith in you in the first place.



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I have the opinion that you become tainted once your employer knows you were searching for a job.

    This, 100%. They know that you are looking for opportunity and that you aren't loyal. They know that you didn't feel that they could be trusted to be able to retain you. And you were probably right. But the situation is what it is. But there is more...



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    The job offer gives you leverage to ask for a raise

    That's a myth. You have no leverage that you didn't have before. Either you quit or you don't quit, that's all the leverage you have.



  • If you take the new job, how long until you'd be at the 50% anyways via raises? Or close enough.

    New job is eligible for year end bonus depending on company and personal performance. So could be much closer than I can forecast. I would estimate 5-7 years.



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I’m at the point where it would need to be a 50% raise to even consider anything. My current employer has hinted on looking to accommodate the 50% raise.

    You will never have a good situation if they are "willing to accommodate" and not actively happy with the rate. It's good for a little bit, but over the long haul, it's an unhappy situation. They didn't see you as worth that today, they are only going to pay you that under pressure. They will always see you as strong arming them and will resent you. You will not be happy with the situation and resent them. The company you turn down will see you as having wasted their time and not want you in the future. No one wins.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    No one wins.

    I think it depends on how long he'd stay at his current employer at a 50% increase versus the new job at a 19% increase. Maybe he stays for a year at current job at 50% higher pay, then moves on to something higher.... then it's financially better to take the counter. But then again, it's a risk. Only he knows the actual situation and feeling around it all, but I do generally agree with your stance.



  • @scottalanmiller Scott, great points. I really appreciate your perspective. So it would be a good idea to not even entertain the counter offer and just politely inform them I'm moving on?



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I’m at the point where it would need to be a 50% raise to even consider anything. My current employer has hinted on looking to accommodate the 50% raise.

    You will never have a good situation if they are "willing to accommodate" and not actively happy with the rate. It's good for a little bit, but over the long haul, it's an unhappy situation. They didn't see you as worth that today, they are only going to pay you that under pressure. They will always see you as strong arming them and will resent you. You will not be happy with the situation and resent them. The company you turn down will see you as having wasted their time and not want you in the future. No one wins.

    This is a great point. It seems I will be burning 2 bridges.



  • Take the new job for sure. You'll have a target on your back if you stay at the old place. Do the new job for a year, get the bonus, then move again for another 20% increase!



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I’m debating if I should play the counter offer game or not.

    I would not. Tell them how much you appreciate the counter offer. But explain that you aren't playing games and not trying to pressure them. You've appreciated the opportunity, but this isn't you trying to talk them into spending more on you.



  • @magicmarker said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @scottalanmiller Scott, great points. I really appreciate your perspective. So it would be a good idea to not even entertain the counter offer and just politely inform them I'm moving on?

    Correct. Entertaining the counter, but then turning it down makes things even worse. You get their hopes up and if you don't take it, then they are hurt as well.



  • I had a counter offer made once and it sounded attractive. In this instance, I called their bluff and I asked them to write it down (as an official offer) and they declined. End result, I left and started my career in IT.

    Normally, I wouldn't do that. If I've decided to look for work elsewhere, it's because I don't want to be at the current place.

    For me it comes down to this: If they didn't feel I was worth the extra money before I handed in my resignation, why am I suddenly worth it when I'm leaving?

    Don't play that game. In the end, no one wins.



  • I was given a 50% raise in a counter offer once. I flat told them to fuck off.

    "Fuck you, >company president name<. If I was worth this rate to you, you would have given it to me a long time ago."

    I then walked out of the fucking building.



  • @nadnerB said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I had a counter offer made once and it sounded attractive. In this instance, I called their bluff and I asked them to write it down (as an official offer) and they declined. End result, I left and started my career in IT.

    Good point, counter offers often only exist to make you stall and look less attractive to the other company. They only need to keep you long enough for the other deal to fall through.

    They can always lower your rate down again later. They are under no obligation to keep the rate.



  • If you're leaving, you're leaving and that's that. I assume you've already accepted the new job?

    However, if you want to still have a good relationship with your old employer, you could consider delaying your departure a couple of weeks for a reasonable one-time payment. I think your new employer would probably accept that. It could also be that you come in one or two days per week or something, to make it a smooth transition. It depends a little on what kind of job you had and what the new job is.



  • @Pete-S said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    It could also be that you come in one or two days per week or something, to make it a smooth transition. It depends a little on what kind of job you had and what the new job is.

    That's even worse than accepting the counter IMO. I'd be pissed if I was new employer and wouldn't trust you if I was old employer. There was a guy who did that on ML and he continually got abused by old employer for months because he refused to leave them hanging... The problem is that they always asked him for more and he kept complying because he couldn't stand up and say enough is enough.



  • 19% is pretty minimal for a new job in IT. If we are talkihg about $100k vs $119k that is very minimal for leaving a job. Usually 30% or more is what people leave to get. It's not uncommon to get 50% when switching jobs in IT. Especially if you are at like $60k now then 10% would be less than $10k increase.

    Did you see if you could get more than 19% for a new job?



  • As far as countering, I agree with pretty much everyone else saying don't do it.

    I would tell the current employer that not only is is a pay increase, but it's a career advancement as well. Which isn't possibly at your current position.



  • @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    19% is pretty minimal for a new job in IT. If we are talkihg about $100k vs $119k that is very minimal for leaving a job. Usually 30% or more is what people leave to get. It's not uncommon to get 50% when switching jobs in IT. Especially if you are at like $60k now then 10% would be less than $10k increase.

    Did you see if you could get more than 19% for a new job?

    It's a 19% NET raise when factoring in benefits, commute, etc. The GROSS raise is 27%. Plus a year end bonus depending on company and personal performance.



  • @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @Pete-S said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    It could also be that you come in one or two days per week or something, to make it a smooth transition. It depends a little on what kind of job you had and what the new job is.

    That's even worse than accepting the counter IMO. I'd be pissed if I was new employer and wouldn't trust you if I was old employer. There was a guy who did that on ML and he continually got abused by old employer for months because he refused to leave them hanging... The problem is that they always asked him for more and he kept complying because he couldn't stand up and say enough is enough.

    Yeah, I agree. There are times that this can work out, but it is super rare. We had someone do that with NTG but we are a small, private company and everyone is like family. The person left because of family needs, not a career move and was super sad to be leaving. That's not the normal. Normally you leave for more money, a better position, or because you don't like the old job so there is a negative situation with the old employer, and often you are dealing with managers and such rather than the owners.

    It can work, but very rarely. Normally it is terrible for everyone.



  • @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I would tell the current employer that not only is is a pay increase, but it's a career advancement as well. Which isn't possibly at your current position.

    I'd not word it this way. Don't leave a door open to be perceived as a hint for a way to retain you. If they offer a career advancement too, you don't want it. But if you hint at it and they offer and you turn them down still, then it seems insincere. Make a clean break, it's not for you to defend wanting a new job. You want a job that appreciates you and doesn't make you beg or cajole or threaten to leave in order to get paid or promoted.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I would tell the current employer that not only is is a pay increase, but it's a career advancement as well. Which isn't possibly at your current position.

    I'd not word it this way. Don't leave a door open to be perceived as a hint for a way to retain you. If they offer a career advancement too, you don't want it. But if you hint at it and they offer and you turn them down still, then it seems insincere. Make a clean break, it's not for you to defend wanting a new job. You want a job that appreciates you and doesn't make you beg or cajole or threaten to leave in order to get paid or promoted.

    Why not? I've seen people come back to companies a few years down the road for big increases and be appreciated for it.

    It's a good thing to say IMO because it shows you are career focused and the decision is not personal. You never have to accept any counter and you can give a valid reason why the new position is better than any promotion they will offer



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I never, ever consider them

    Exact, you are on barrowed time If you were to accept a counter. The business doesn't want that cost, they want time.

    You've wanted to leave for whatever reason and said as much, so no counter would be acceptable.



  • @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @IRJ said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    I would tell the current employer that not only is is a pay increase, but it's a career advancement as well. Which isn't possibly at your current position.

    I'd not word it this way. Don't leave a door open to be perceived as a hint for a way to retain you. If they offer a career advancement too, you don't want it. But if you hint at it and they offer and you turn them down still, then it seems insincere. Make a clean break, it's not for you to defend wanting a new job. You want a job that appreciates you and doesn't make you beg or cajole or threaten to leave in order to get paid or promoted.

    Why not? I've seen people come back to companies a few years down the road for big increases and be appreciated for it.

    It's a good thing to say IMO because it shows you are career focused and the decision is not personal. You never have to accept any counter and you can give a valid reason why the new position is better than any promotion they will offer

    The "why not" is because it sounds like you are hinting at what you want in a counter.



  • @DustinB3403 said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    Exact, you are on barrowed time If you were to accept a counter. The business doesn't want that cost, they want time.

    Time to replace you with someone at or below your original cost.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    @DustinB3403 said in How do you guys handle counter offers?:

    Exact, you are on barrowed time If you were to accept a counter. The business doesn't want that cost, they want time.

    Time to replace you with someone at or below your original cost.

    Right, why accept maybe 1-2 months of increased pay to be replaced when your replacement is trained


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