The Counter Offer

Here’s the scenario, you are approached by another company with a job offer. The most enticing thing about the offer is the money. You go to your boss and tell him the story, and he immediately counters back with the same offer. Should you take the offer? That is a tough question in any economy, but especially in the current one. As they say—you have to obviously weigh the pros and cons to both scenarios. One thing is for sure –to even receive an offer for a new job, you have admitted to yourself that perhaps it is time for a change. This alone does not bode well for the success of a counter offer. If you take the counter offer, will you find yourself in the same state of mind just a short time down the road? This is really the crux of the dilemma. Each career decision we make can have a major impact on where we ultimately end up in the future. If you look back at these turning points in your life, you will obviously see the path that you have taken, but you will also see the alternative path that you could have taken. In retrospect, you can now decide which path was the best move (hopefully it is the one you are currently on).

Making any career path decision can be difficult. For example, early in my career, I had 2 distinct career paths laid out before me –essentially, 2 different job opportunities. One was a foot in the door to a potentially glamorous sales job at a leading rock music station in my city. The other was a less glamorous, but more intriguing job in the recruitment space. Obviously, I chose the latter and I can safely say it was the right choice –the ride has been great so far in the career space –I have learned a lot and have met some great people. But you can see that one decision completely changed my career. Going back to the topic – should you take the counter offer? Once again, this is a very important decision to make and one that can truly affect your entire career.

Unfortunately, there is no general right answer because each situation is different. Often times you hear that someone took the counter offer and then was let go a few months down the road. The boss was bitter that you forced a counter offer rather than going down the more natural path of promotion. However, this does not happen every time. My advice is to look very carefully at the reasons you looked for another job in the first place and ask yourself this question: Does the counter offer from my current company alleviate the concerns I had before I looked for another job? Also, look your boss square in the eye and ask very simply – “If I take this offer, will our relationship change and will you feel bitterness towards me?” After these 2 questions have been answered, your gut should do the rest. Good luck and happy hunting! Tyler Toby VP, Advertising & Business Development America’s Job Exchange

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