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Stay or Go? The Counter Offer Dilemma

I had it! I was done! Enough was enough and I was out the door! All the empty promises, the bickering and bullsh*t. When I dropped the bomb, anger soon turned to sadness, through heavy tears they whimpered “I..I..I. can’t picture life without you, please please don’t go, I’ll do anything…ANYTHING!” Though tempting I knew I had to go and I DID! Now given this was my girlfriend and not my employer, I perhaps may not have first hand experience in dealing with a counter offer, in fact I’ve been told my last resignation letter has been laminated and framed in my old bosses office, BUT I’m sure the situations are similar enough to help you realize why taking a counter offer won’t fix your relationship but only delay the inevitable.

THE STATS!

Ok I admit I don’t have hard stats on this topic and neither does google. Every recruiter quotes a different metric of an employee’s unlikelihood of staying with an organisation after accepting a counter offer, but it’s generally accepted to be very high. In my experience it’s near on 100%. More importantly the side effects of accepting a counter offer need to be known;

  • Awkwardness: So you take the counter and you’re back in the job you hate but with a slightly better pay check. Now your team knows you were flirting with the competition, sneaking off for interviews and talking trash about them. Trust is gone and they still expect you to leave at any second. You hear whispers behind your back and you don’t get invited to Dave’s annual BBQ.
  • Bridges burnt: You’re now a weak lair. You claimed to your new fling you were over your job, the passion was gone, that money wasn’t your main motivator and they weren’t adventurous enough for you. You think if things don’t work with your current employer that the first offer still stands and your recruiter has washed away the sour taste you left behind? Nope, your bed is made.
  • Nothing will change: The truth is all the problems you had before won’t suddenly disappear now that you’ve threatened to leave. In fact they’ll probably get worse! No career growth? Who would promote you now? Is your coworker suddenly going to stop eating your lunch and stop taking your car park? no. Does a new work truck make that hour long drive to work any shorter? Nope. Does another $10k a year make your boring job suddenly bearable? …Maybe if you spend it on Xanax.
  • It’s going to be twice as messy: When you eventually leave (which you will) don’t expect another counter offer, in fact you can expect a sh*t storm of new magnitudes. You’ve flip flopped more than a politician, you said you would stay and you didn’t, you’ve gone against your word. Like dealing with my crazy ex-partner, your mates are forced to take sides, a well planned smear campaign is launched against you, your belongings are thrown onto the street and your car receives some custom detailing.


Don’t take the counter! 
Hold firm on the reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place. Swat away empty promises and last resort pleas. You will feel guilty but only for a while. Hit them with the “There’s more fish in the sea”, “I just don’t see this going anywhere”, “you should of treated me better”, “one day you’re going to find someone great” and my personal favorite: ” I just feel like we’re doing this for the wrong reasons” like a verbal flash grenade, you can dash out the door to safety.

If you’re stuck in a toxic relationship and need advice, you can always contact me at chiel@trs.co.nz

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