One of the most unnerving professional experiences is transitioning from a role where you’re comfortable to something completely new, even when that something new is a career step up.
Taking that next step in your career can be unsettling. Having to give notice is also potentially petrifying. Once the decision to make a career change has happened, the best thing to keep in mind is not to waver on the decision. You’ve invested time and effort to identify why you should leave and what you want next. Your reasons to leave most likely revolve around issues or concerns that are unfixable or unresolved. This is the next step to move your career forward; giving notice and briefly explaining your decision.
When you give notice, it is very likely that your current company will make a final attempt to entice you to stay. This is called a counteroffer. Because you have chosen to resign from your current employer, and resigning can be difficult, you should be armed to resist the tactful, persuasive conversation that will inevitably be part of your resignation meeting. Companies will often offer a large pay increase, an elevated title or promotion and promises for you if you’ll stay. Strong emotional and psychological pressure can play a part here and you’ll need to think clearly regarding the counteroffer. Do you accept the offer and move forward with your current situation, or do you decline and give notice? The answer that is in your best interest is most often to decline the offer and move forward.
“90% of candidates who accept a counteroffer from their current employer end up leaving within six months.”
Several reasons can play into this statistic, so here are the top five reasons we’ve found:
- THE MAIN ISSUE GENERALLY DOESN’T DISAPPEAR
There was a reason why you were looking in the first place; no pay increase, not being challenged, no room for growth, your manager is too demanding, etc. If you accept a counteroffer the issue will still be prominent and most likely won’t disappear.
- IT KILLS TRUST BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE & EMPLOYER
Because you considered another employer, your loyalty and dedication are now in question. The company may consider you a flight risk and often begins quietly searching for a successor who they consider more dedicated to the company. There is no longer the same level of trust, and a target has been put on your back.
- IT HINDERS WORK RELATIONSHIPS
It’s amazing how quickly news gets around the office. When your peers discover that you received a pay increase or a promotion by threatening to resign, the culture may shift more negatively. 80% of people say relationships with their peers deteriorated after accepting a counteroffer. There’s nothing worse than a negative work culture.
- IT KILLS FUTURE PAY INCREASES OR PROMOTIONS
Ask yourself some of these questions.
- Why did I have to quit to get a pay raise?
- Why did it take the threat of my leaving to get promoted?
- Why only now am I suddenly so valuable that they’ll address my complaints/concerns?
If your supervisor is quick to accommodate a pay raise or promotion at this point, there’s a strong chance that’s the last increase you’ll see for quite some time.
- IT BURNS A BRIDGE IN YOUR INDUSTRY
If, before you give your notice, you accept another position and then decline, you risk burning a bridge in a very small business community. Employers remember these types of actions for a long time, and those people may, and often do move to other companies in the industry. Think carefully before making a decision to renege on an offer. It may close the door in the future to that company and potentially others as well.
Even good change can be intimidating. When it comes to leaving a comfortable position to pursue professional growth, be prepared to give notice AND withstand a counteroffer to launch your career to the next level.