Should I stay or should I go?

The topic of counter offers is an interesting one. I am sure you have seen articles and thoughts about the subject and they are usually one person’s perspective on the topic. For a somewhat different approach, we’ve reached out to people in our network to gain their thoughts and perspective on the topic.



We asked:

You have just received an offer to join a new firm. You are giving notice to leave your current position and your employer makes a “counter offer” to keep you from leaving. You start to think about whether or not to take that “counter offer.”

Why would taking a counter offer can cost you more in the long run?

You made a decision to leave your current company and pursue a job lead in the first place.  That’s never an easy decision.  Whatever motivated that decision hasn’t really changed.  It may change temporarily.  But it didn’t change for the right reasons or motivation.  If an employer didn’t make the adjustment based on your negotiation/needs without your imminent departure, then their motivation may be less than “righteous”.  What happens when their back isn’t against the wall?   You both will always know that you got what you needed because they were threatened with your departure and nothing more.  I have never in my career heard of a counter offer working out in the long term.  So as wonderful as it sounds to be wanted and needed, feel good about the complement and use the great energy to do an even better job in your role!

Amy Callister, Group Manager, Avanade


My view is accepting, or not accepting, a counter depends on the reason one is leaving.  If one is leaving because one was happy, but was approached for an outside role at a significant premium then accepting a counter is fine.  If one left for other reasons, unless those reasons are addressed by the counter, one should leave.  Otherwise, the hidden cost of accepting the counter is the fact that none of the reasons one looked at other opportunities have changed.

John Fafian, Director – Head of Strategy and Sourcing , PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP


This actually happened to me about 16 years ago. I think it makes you look like you are getting leverage to get a better situation at your old company.

Which compromises your integrity and can severely tarnish your reputation in the marketplace.

You should always consider if there were something that would make you want to stay with your existing company and address that with them letting them know you are considering leaving.  But once you seriously engage new employers it is rude to lead them on and then not make a change (unless the offer was really cheap or the job you didn’t want).

I also actually have had a few people do this me as the hiring manager.  I went to bat internally to get approval the salary they wanted and then they didn’t take the job.  One of these people I will never hire or recommend as she is just not reliable based on what she was leading me to believe and walking away.  In the end it was a blessing she changed her mind for me but I still remember her and she is still in our marketplace and I will never recommend anyone hiring her –

Janie West, Vice President, Strategic Relationship Management at NGA Human Resources


We hope you find these perspectives interesting. If you would like to share your thoughts on this for future blogs, please let me know.

Larry Janis, Managing Partner, ISSG,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.