Career Advice

Guilt, Hope and Bling: The 3 Stages of a Counter Offer

February 1, 2018

Contributed by Jeff Vijungco, Vice President, Corporate Employee Experience, Talent & Technology

‘Tis the season to make a move. You have an offer in your hand, and not a boring one, but a really good one. In fact, you signed the offer letter and provided a start date. You’re not going from light blue to powder blue. You’re going from light blue to deep, deep, deep purple. Because why make the move otherwise? It’s truly an upgrade not just an uptick.

But before you begin your next opportunity, here’s the back-and-forth you can expect when you give notice to your current employer, and what I like to call the 3 stages of a counter offer.

 1. Guilt

You come in Monday morning and ask to talk to your manager. You take a deep breath and blurt out “I’m leaving for another opportunity.” Your manager immediately shows their disbelief and disappointment, and says, “OMG, you can’t leave!”

That’s when the guilt sets in.

It’s an understandable feeling—this is a breakup after all. My advice to get over it? Remember why you took those initial calls in the first place. You were ready for a change and perhaps the next level of your career. Tell your manager you already accepted the new offer and when your start date will be. 

 2. Hope

So when your current employer says, “We had so many plans for you,” it can be hard to hear. But ask yourself, have you heard about these plans until now?

Many times the answer is no, and you’ve made the right decision to leave. If there wasn’t already a clear development path for you, there may not be one in the near future.

 3. Bling

In a last ditch effort, your manager says they want to offer you more money, more responsibility and a bigger title. Bling! But why did you have to give notice to suddenly be more valuable…? This may be tempting, but it’s often a reactive management response. #CoinOperated

If you’re thinking about taking the counter offer, do know that you’ll always be known as that person that resigned at one point.

Last tip, give a reasonable amount of notice but not too long. Leave cleanly but you need to move on, and the org gets to move on.

Follow Jeff at @JeffVijungco for more career advice.