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Thinking of accepting a counter-offer? Think again!

Now before the eyes start rolling and you say “he would say that he’s a recruiter” hear me out.

There is lots of data and comment available online over the past 12 months stating that counter-offers are on the rise.

The Legal market is a dynamic and competitive landscape, where Lawyers often find themselves presented with new opportunities that promise growth, higher remuneration, better quality work, great culture and amazing work-life balance every day. It is not surprise you have decided to seek greener pastures but your current employers could extend a counter-offer to persuade you to stick with them. While the allure of possibly higher pay and improved conditions may seem enticing at that moment in time, accepting a counter-offer can often lead to unforeseen negative consequences that outweigh the immediate benefits.

Temporary Fixes, Not Lasting Solutions

A counter-offer may promise better remuneration or improved conditions to entice you to stay but these enhancements are all to often temporary fixes designed to address immediate concerns. Once the initial shock of a resignation wears off, the employer is likely revert to old practices, and the issues that prompted you to consider leaving in the first place. Long-term problems require lasting solutions, and accepting a counter-offer certainly does not guarantee sustainable change.

Erosion of Trust

Accepting a counter-offer can erode the trust between you and your employer. When you decide to leave and accept a new job, it signifies a breakdown in the existing employer-employee relationship. By accepting a counter-offer, you signal that you were willing to leave, leading the employer to question your loyalty and commitment. This can potentially strain the working relationship going forward and undermine future opportunities for growth and within the organization.

Career Growth and Advancement

One of the main drivers I see for considering new roles is career advancement. If an employer’s counter-offer includes a promotion or raise, it raises questions about why these advancements were not offered earlier. Accepting a counter-offer might mean that your career trajectory is being shaped out of necessity rather than genuine recognition of your skills and potential.

Cultural and Emotional Fit

Job satisfaction is often determined by factors beyond money, such as company culture, team dynamics, management style, flexible working and such like. These issues are not likely to change significantly by accepting a counter offer. The root causes of your dissatisfaction are usually deeply ingrained and cannot be addressed by a salary increase alone.

Counter Offers as Stalling Tactics

Employers can use counter offers as a stalling tactic to buy time while they search for a replacement or to let your new opportunity pass you by. Once they’ve secured a suitable replacement, you may find yourself in a precarious position, with your employer less invested in your long-term development.

In the face of a counter-offer, it’s important to consider the broader implications beyond immediate financial improvements. Accepting a counter-offer might seem appealing in the short term, but it often fails to address the core issues that prompted you to look at the market in the first place. To ensure career growth, job satisfaction, and professional integrity, it’s often wiser to pursue new opportunities that align with your long-term goals rather than succumbing to the allure of a counter-offer that may not have your best interests at heart.

About The Author

Picture of James Wheelhouse
James Wheelhouse
Picture of James Wheelhouse
James Wheelhouse

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