How to Reject Counteroffer from Current Employer

How to reject counteroffer from current employer

So, you’ve resigned. You’re seeking new opportunities and want to push your career to the next level. But you’ve been given a counteroffer by your current employer.

What do you do?

Counteroffers always seem appealing. In fact, only 1 in 5 employees rejects a counteroffer initially, with higher salaries and lower risk both acting as enticing benefits for remaining in their current role.

But counteroffers aren’t always as attractive as they first seem, and may result in career stagnation, missed opportunities and feelings of resentment if accepted.

Here’s why you should consider saying no to counteroffers, and advice on how to decline them when the time comes…


Why Say No to Counteroffers?


Too Little, Too Late

If you’ve handed in your resignation, there’s a chance you were already feeling undervalued in your current role. A counteroffer from your employer solidifies this. Employers tend to offer higher salaries at this point to avoid the cost of replacing you, and to hold onto your skills and talent.

Unfortunately, this tends to be for their benefit, rather than yours. Those feelings of being undervalued might be quelled for a while by the promise of a higher salary, but they will still exist beneath the surface.


Missed Career Growth Opportunities

Moving on from a role that feels restrictive is one of the best things you can do for your career. Accepting a counteroffer, while it may seem appealing at the time, can lead to career stagnation and feelings of being trapped.

If you’ve actively sought out a new opportunity, it’s because your current role has run its course. Be wary of accepting counteroffers at this stage in your career to prevent halting your progress.


Strained Relationships

Once your current employers know you’re unhappy in your current role and have explored other opportunities, they may question your loyalty later on down the line should you choose to accept a counteroffer. Consider how strained relationships with your employers and lack of trust may impact your day-to-day working life.


A Temporary Solution

Counteroffers tend to be a temporary fix for a permanent problem. Research suggests that ’50-80% of employees accepting counteroffers leave their company within six months due to recurring issues.’

While a counteroffer may seem like an easy alternative to starting a new role, the issues that caused you to seek out new opportunities in the first place will still exist. They’re likely to resurface, meaning you could find yourself at the same crossroads six months down the line.


Rejecting Counteroffers

If you’ve decided against accepting a counteroffer but are concerned about the rejection process, begin with a delicate approach. Explain your reasoning for seeking out new opportunities and let your employer know that their counteroffer doesn’t align with your career ambitions.

Let them know that you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of their offer, and resist being swayed by any other benefits they may put on the table in a bid to keep you onboard.


Your Next Career Move

Rejecting a counteroffer may feel like taking a leap of faith, but there are hundreds of opportunities out there that will align with your career ambitions. For support in finding your next role, please get in touch with Mackinnon & Partners.


Jack Miller

Latest News

Receive Newsletters

Contact Us