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Is it Wrong to Accept an Employment Counter-Offer? 1048

Posted by Cliff
from the survival-tips-for-the-work-place dept.
An Anonymous Coward asks: "I was happily working away at a low-paying but otherwise good job I'd had for several months, after taking a huge pay cut when the dot.bomb bubble burst. Then a recruiter contacted me with a very nice potential position - I interviewed and received an offer with a 50% increase in pay, everything else nearly the same. When I received the offer and decided I was interested, I broke the news to my current employer - to my surprise they extended a counter-offer with a matching salary, thereby eliminating my only reason for considering the other job. However, I talked to some friends and checked the web for ideas and realized that there are a *lot* of ppl out there who believe you should never accept a counter-offer. They make some good points, and there are a lot of those pages - but on the web popularity breeds increased popularity, in a self-feeding cycle, so I'm wondering if the numbers are skewed unrealistically. Is it really that rare to do well by accepting a counter-offer? Do Slashdot readers have experience with counter-offers from present employers, positive or negative?"
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Is it Wrong to Accept an Employment Counter-Offer?

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  • Take the Counter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FatHogByTheAss (257292) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:34AM (#3693982)
    The linked 10 reasons are all bullshit. If the company likes you enough to match the offer, and you are otherwise happy where you are, take it. All you've shown your company is that you have goals, too.

    Most employers like that.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:43AM (#3694118)
      Mostly people leave for other reasons than just money. Since in this case it's only about money , you can take the counter. In those other situations, money turns out to be incapable of making up for the downsides of the job.
    • by sphealey (2855) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:44AM (#3694130)
      There are a few companies out there that are honest enough in their internal culture to treat offers and counter-offers as pure business propositions. Cypress Semiconductor was rumoured to be one such, although I don't know personally.

      However, 99.99% of organizations will behave exactly as the 10 reasons describe. Yes, I know, it was corporate employers who destroyed the idea of corporate loyalty in the 1980s. It is corporate employers who dump their long-timers to reduce medical costs and grab the pension money. It is corporate employers who will lay off 10,000 people to get a 1% pop in the stock price.

      But the very same people who do these things will turn around and destroy the career of a person who accepts a counteroffer. Why? They have "shown disloyalty". Doesn't make sense, I know, but that is the way it is. Take the original offer and don't look back.

      sPh

      • by elmegil (12001) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:52AM (#3694237) Homepage Journal
        If you take the counter, and they diss you, what stops you from getting another offer and really leaving this time? You've already proven your worth in the marketplace.
      • by Barton ODucks (585185) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:09AM (#3694394)
        As a manager during a few of these times when an employee finds a 'better' job [and often the job IS better] I have decided to never offer a counteroffer again. It's demeaning to everyone involved---at best it confuses the employee about what she wanted, and at worst it tells her that you were ripping her off by not already paying her what you're counter offering.

        I've worked with people who left a company only to return after a few weeks or even years for roughly the same pay and position; this could ONLY happen in an environment where the individuals involved trusted each other.

        Counter offers are kludges, and should be avoided by everyone. I'm certain that somewhere down the road I will be expected to offer a disgruntled employee more money to stay; rest assured, through nods and winks and nervous tics that I will clearly imply that my heart and mind aren't into the deal. If there is something which was made a person unhappy with their current job, no amount of money can clear those up. Take the original offer, godspeed, and hey, while you're going, here's my resume.

        • by MarkCC (40181) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @02:56PM (#3696344)
          I've got a very different point of view.

          About two years ago, I interviewed for another job, got an offer, and told my current employer that I was leaving. I actually didn't really want a counter-offer.

          But they made one anyway. And I ended up taking it. And it was probably the smartest decision I ever made.

          The catch is, money wasn't really an issue. There were other things I was unhappy about at work. I wasn't planning on leaving because of money - in fact, the new job was a moderate pay-*cut*, with very small chances of actually paying off financially in the long run.

          But I'm just not a money-obsessed person. I'm payed very well, and to me, once you reach the point where you can afford a car and a house and a reasonable amount of entertainment, more money just doesn't matter.

          So the counter-offer didn't really involve any money. The only financial component was that the new job offer came the week before we were supposed to be told about our regular raises, and mine was impressive. But the only reason that mattered was because of what it told me about what my management thought of my work, which hadn't been communicated very clearly before that.

          So the counter offer was an offer to change some of the things about my job that I was unhappy about. And I ended up taking them up on it.

          I couldn't be happier with my job now. And my management seems very happy with me, as well. It's been over two years, so I'm pretty sure that it wasn't just a ruse to keep me long enough to let them fire me.

          So... The moral of the story: if you're leaving a job that you're happy with, and that you're getting payed fairly for, counter-offers are probably a bad deal -- for exactly the reasons detailed in the parent post.

          On the other hand, if you're unhappy with your job, sometimes the outside offer will get people to take your unhappiness seriously. Sometimes
          it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

          But finally: never use a job offer as leverage if you don't really intend to take it. I gave notice at my current job, and I was 100 percent serious about leaving. If you make the threat to leave, and you're not serious, you're probably going to wind up unemployed.

          -Mark
    • by SplendidIsolatn (468434) <splendidisolatn@yaho o . c om> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:52AM (#3694238)
      Not only that, but the company's web site that wrote the 10 reasons is a RECRUITER! Of course they don't want you to take a counteroffer--THEY WON'T GET PAID. It's just as biased as if Microsoft offered a 10 reasons not to use Linux page.
    • by Alomex (148003) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:58AM (#3694289) Homepage
      The linked 10 reasons are all bullshit. If the company likes you enough to match the offer, and you are otherwise happy where you are, take it. All you've shown your company is that you have goals, too.

      Most employers like that.


      Bzzt! Wrong. I'm a manager and it is not so simple. Some corporations treat offer/counteroffers very maturely, others don't.

      It also depends on the employee. If you are a trooper, you have proven with the offer that you were underpaid and I'll raise your salary and leave it at that.

      If you are a whiner, all you have shown is that you are an underpaid whiner. Since I need you to complete the current project I'll make a counteroffer, but I'll start searching for your replacement right away.

    • by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x@s n k m a i l . com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:07AM (#3694367) Homepage Journal
      I expect that many corporate proxy-watchers are now raising their eyebrows because a whole whack of employees are suddenly looking at a site explaining why they should not accept a counter-offer :-)
  • Why not earlier (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre&geekbiker,net> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:34AM (#3693984) Homepage Journal
    If they gave a damn about you, why didn't they pay you more before? Will you need to get a new job offer every time you want a raise?
    • Re:Why not earlier (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shuffle40 (520862) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694010)
      Don't be so naive. If you don't ask for a raise, you don't get it. When is the last time a company ever offered you a raise with no prodding (other than the usual token raise once per year)? I have had that happen, but it is definitely not the "norm". Ask and ye shall receive!
      • Re:Why not earlier (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FPhlyer (14433)
        Don't be so naive. This person indicated that he had just received a cut in pay. If you've just received a paycut, asking for a raise seems a bit silly.

        I've been in the position of asking for a raise for year and not getting it. Then when faced with the prospect of my leaving the company (and the company loosing productivity and having to train new staff) the company "somehow" managed to afford a 20% raise for me.

        If your company thinks they can keep you without giving you a raise, they won't.
        • The original poster just went about it the wrong way in my opinion. It's like auto-insurance. Some people aren't happy with what they've got, but instead of trying to work it out, they first start shopping elsewhere and only "break the news" when they're ready to leave.

          If you come straight out and say you think you deserve a little more, the company may not be as likely to respond favorably, but they also won't treat you like an employee that will be ready to bolt at the first sign of a marginally better prospect. Loyalty may be a lost thing to the big corporations, but it does make a difference to your immediate superiors, and generally they're the ones that have the say in whether you do get that raise or promotion.

          But hell, if they turn you down, by all means shop around. Personally, I'm always on the look-out, but it's got to be significantly better than what I have before I'd entertain actually leaving.
    • Re:Why not earlier (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xzzy (111297) <sether@nOspAM.tru7h.org> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:43AM (#3694115) Homepage
      > If they gave a damn about you, why didn't they pay you more before?

      I doubt there were any dirty motives behind the company not raising pay by leaps and bounds.

      It's in a company's best interest to pay workers as little as they can get away with. If said worker happens to be one of those quiet non-complaining sorts, it's easy to get lost in the paperwork and never see a raise.

      That does not by implication indicate they don't value the employee, nor are unwilling to pay more for the same employee. They're just being practical, and assuming that if no one is complaining then everyone is happy and there's no reason to rock the boat.

      Trying to keep the employee with a counter-offer is surely better than them shrugging it off and making sure the door doesn't hit him in the ass on the way out.
    • Re:Why not earlier (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FreeUser (11483) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:46AM (#3694160)
      If they gave a damn about you, why didn't they pay you more before? Will you need to get a new job offer every time you want a raise?

      This is an excellent point. Furthermore, are they willing to give you back pay at the new rate, to make up for having underpaid you all that time?

      There are several problems with taking such a counter-offer:

      one - you can only do this once or twice before they stop giving you pay raises, and each iteration burns a bridge at a potentially new and exciting job, with new and better opportunities for you.

      two - if the recruiter gets burned (she or he will lose their commision [likely 30% of your new salary if they're an independent headhunter] if you take the counter-offer) you lose an ally if and when you really do want to switch jobs (you can bet they'll put a black mark in your file, and it will affect the service you get next time around.

      three - you'll still be in the same position you were before. No new opportunities, no new challenges, just more money (for now).

      four - you're in the same position for which your employer knows they can get people to fill at your old rate. Your days at your new pay level are likely numbered, and your odds of further pay raises are tiny. Your odds of further pay raises at your new position after six months or a year, provided you are doing a good job, are much better.

      five - your employer will, at some level, feel they've been strongarmed by you. This will adversely affect your long-term relationship with them regardless.

      six - you should go to the recruiter, tell them about the counter offer, and see if they can't give you a little more. I wouldn't necessarilly get the two sides in a bidding war (that might well leave your new employer with a bad taste in their mouth), but if they can outdo the counter-offer by a little bit, it might go a long way toward making your decision easier.

      IMHO if all things are equal, take the new job. The disadvantages I listed above are signficant, and there really would need to be a compelling reason to ignore them and take the counter offer, and having equal pay and the (quite possibly faux) comfort of not changing jobs isn't nearly enough IMHO.

      Of course, this advice is worth every penny you paid for it.
    • by Srin Tuar (147269) <zeroday26@yahoo.com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:47AM (#3694167)


      Ive accepted a counter offer before: My current employer at the time matched what a startup had offered me, and I accepted: no need to switch jobs or anything.


      They asked me if I was unhappy, I said no, not really, it was just that I was surprised that I was offered so much money, and I would much rather stay where I was (especially with the 25% raise).


      I say counter-offers are great.
      When I broke the news, well they bumped the number up again another 30%, making it over a 50% raise since before all the haggling began. My current employer, being a govt contractor, couldn't go that high (the govt has limits on how much you can pay employees) so I took the counter-counter offer in the end.


      It turns out the whole thing was very enlighting on how low the ceiling was for me at my old position, even though I liked the job/people/etc, you have to go where the money is.

      • It turns out the whole thing was very enlighting on how low the ceiling was for me at my old position, even though I liked the job/people/etc, you have to go where the money is.

        You have todo what makes you happy, shiny things does not improve your life.
        • Money can mean the difference between living in an apartment or buying a decent house. It can mean the ability to support new additions to the family. It can be the freedom to fly home to visit your family without having to worry about the price of the plane ticket.

          Money may not buy you happiness, but it does allow you to pursue the things that DO make you happy.
    • Re:Why not earlier (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jsled (11433) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:47AM (#3694178) Homepage
      Because they're a business. While they enjoy standing as an individual, they're not a happy-feely person who will DTRT. Businesses are motivated by profit, and paying people as little as possible means _more_profit_. Mostly, those 10 reasons are bullshit, primarily because people don't get this....
      * You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.
      Nope, you [in this case] have only made your employer aware that you're worth more, and they're doing the right thing: responding by saying yes.
      * When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not.
      Lie. They'll know who is in tune with reality.
      * When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.
      Perhaps, but not if they wouldn't normally... the company has an investment in you [training, proprietary knowledge, &c.]
      * Accepting a counteroffer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride; you were bought.
      What? That's what employment generally is: I exchange time and ability for money.
      * Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? All companies have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your next raise early?
      Valid point,
      * Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price.
      Probably not, unless you're asking for unreasonable terms. It's a PITA to hire and train new people
      * The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.
      Perhaps, perhaps not.
      * Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.
      Don't let the word get out.
      * What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they will give you what you are worth?
      A pretty normal one. Corporations are too-powerful entities with differing goals from their employees. Corporate officers are legally and fiscally responsible to the bottom line, and to stockholders if public. The employee's role is to negotiate terms with this entity, and only then will the corporation DTRT.

      This is unfortunate, but true. Good corporations will adjust compensation proactively, because they've just lost some of your productivity to deal with this problem...

      • If people (and I will include managers in people, since I am one ;-) ) were rational decision makers, I would agree.

        Reality is that emotion rules the day in a lot of management decisions, no more so than in personnel decisions. The person who accepts a counter-offer will in fact be marked as "disloyal" for the rest of his time at most organizations. Weird and counterproductive, but true nonetheless.

        sPh

  • by taya0001 (457928) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:35AM (#3693994)
    STEP 1. Review pros and cons of both worksite evaluate your current standing with your employer. Also look your future prospects with the company that you are considering employment at and your current company.

    STEP 2. ?????????

    STEP 3. Profit
  • Questionable... (Score:4, Informative)

    by weez75 (34298) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:35AM (#3693995) Homepage
    I think once you've accepted a job offer you should definitely not entertain counters. However, the company making the offer understands that when they make an offer it is not a completed deal. If you wish to stay with your current employer simply state, "Thank you but I've decided it's in my best interest to stay where I am." Do not inform the other company that they matched your salary. The situation is simply you decided the other opportunity wasn't for you.

    • by telstar (236404) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:55AM (#3694267)
      If you wish to stay with your current employer simply state, "Thank you but I've decided it's in my best interest to stay where I am."
      • The problem with that is that in order to get your company to give you a counter-offer, you've got to essentially tell them that you're leaving. Doing this before the terms of your new job are signed and finalized is risky. You're potentially setting yourself up for unemployment if both companies fall through.
      • As others have said, I'd treat it like a business decision. A company extends an offer to you. You like it but wouldn't mind staying where you are for the right money. Go to your boss, tell him that you received a better offer but haven't yet accepted. If your boss want's to keep you he/she will try and sweeten the pot for you.

        It's been my experience that employers have no problem negotiating with you. If you want more money ask. The other offer gives you extra bargaining power.

  • Limated Experance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThePilgrim (456341) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694005) Homepage
    I have had only one joub that offered me a counter offer, which I took. The Company went bancrupt 2 months later and I was out of a job.

    This probably wont happen to you, but you have to ask yourself why your last pay rise wasn't 50% if the you company is prepared to offer you this now.
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694008) Homepage Journal
    ...jump on whatever you can get. At least with the counter-offer you know what to expect. Jumping ship for another company, you run the risk of entering a completely different corporate culture than what you are used to at your current job.

    That's also a damn fine vote of confidence from your boss. I'd celebrate this weekend if I were you.
    • by reaper20 (23396) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:12AM (#3694425) Homepage
      Not to mention the (+1, Loyalty) you'll get from your current emplyer
      • by Nindalf (526257) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:44AM (#3694691)
        -ee: "I have a job offer for a much higher salary."
        -er thinks "We can't lose him right now."
        -er: "We're prepared to match that salary if you stay with us."
        -ee: "Okay then, I'll stay."
        -er thinks "Whew! That bought us some time, but this guy is just after money, so no doubt he'll be squeezing us for more later. I'd better start looking for his replacement now."

        Being willing to jump ship for a better offer is not an impressive show of loyalty. Remember that employers ideally want idiot-savants who are brilliant at their work, but neither know their value nor seek their own best interests. They don't want people who are primarily influenced by money, they want people who are easily influenced by "good management" (i.e. manipulation and security/benefit shell games).
    • I don't think its a vote of confidence. If his current employer thought highly of him he would have given him this raise without the threat of him leaving the company.

      Counter-offers are made usually just because the employer needs the body and its cheaper to give an instant raise than it is to find a new body IMHO.
  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694014) Homepage Journal
    Ah, back when a monkey could become a well-paid programmer... Those were the days.

    If you feel the company really wants you to stay and isn't simply keeping you around to finish the current project, then I'd say stay.

    The points on that page are very good, but it all really boils down to your relationship with your employer. If you feel like part of the team and you feel comfortable with the people you work with, stay. If you think this is just a ploy to give you your raise early and give you nothing when evaluations come around, then leave.
    • Yes, good point. Do you trust your employer?

      Also -- are you just in it for the money, regardless of environment?

      Bear in mind that a history of short jobs only leads to more short jobs. If long term stability if your goal, don't jump for short term salary gains.

      I have had several long term jobs (4 years this one, 7 years, 9 years), and many short term jobs (6 months to 1 year). The short term jobs usually terminated due to bankruptcy, but sometimes because it was a lousy fit. I have always looked for interesting companies and interesting work rather than huge salaries. I get paid well enough that sweating $10K is not worth it. Sometimes I have taken a pay cut.

      When I look for work, it is because the work and/or company is no longer interesting, and no counter-offer could have kept me there. If it was due to looming bankruptcy, ditto :-)

      Every situation is different. As a general rule of thumb, I would say that if you are looking because you don't want your current job, regardless of reason, then you should make the commitment. If a counter-offer induces you to stay, then you weren't serious about leaving.

      If I had ever had a job where the pay was so low taht I wanted to look elsewhere, and I didn't trust management enough to tell them I wanted a raise, then I wouldn't trust management enough to take a counter-offer.

      But I have never had an offer out of the blue for more than I was making, except for a friend who has told me I can double my pay if I move to Silly Valley, and he knows that's not very likely. I have had goofy calls from crappy headhunters, but they were untrustworthy to start with and had no credibility.
    • Looks like the first person to start thinking in the right direction here! The new offer/counter-offer thing is just an extension, an expression, of the relationship between you (the employee) and the company (specifically, your manager).

      When the relationship between manager and employee is good (manager is supportive, employee is ambitious, manager stands up for and respresents those he manages), raises rarely need to be requested. A good manager will already be pushing the higher-ups to give you a raise. If your manager-employee relationship is good, but no mention of a raise or fighting for one comes from your boss, then they probably feel you are not doing above-average work in your position.

      If the relationship is not good (neutral or negative, doesn't matter) with your manager, you'll have to fight for a raise every single time. If you're comfortable with this environment, then stick with it... But if you would prefer working with more enthusiastic and supportive management that brings you the raise before you can ask for it (provided you deserve it!), then take the new job and see how you do with their management. Considering your existing malcontent, it's difficult for your situation to get worse. :)

      My situation was similar recently. I had worked for a small tech company for nearly two years, in which time I had 0 vacation days, 0 raise, and did the job of 4 people. This was known, acknowledged, and they promised me both a raise and employees to work under me. After a year of them not fulfilling their promises (justified by constant changes in management - i went between 5 managers in under 2 years!), I moved jobs. The new position was slightly more money, but it offered me a predictable position with an established and very positive-focused management team. The enjoyment of working on this team is what makes it worthwhile... I actually take home less money due to benefits and all that... and no matter what my prior employer offered, there was no way I would have accepted a counter-offer- not because I don't like counter-offers, but because what I wanted was something they weren't capable of offering.

      It's good to understand what it is you are really looking for when changing jobs...
  • Current economy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crumbz (41803) <.moc.liamg>maps ... uj>maps_evomer> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694015) Homepage
    In the current economy with staff cutbacks and furloughs becoming widespread, I would be extremely hesitant about accepting a counter-offer. If a company is offering you, as a new hire, what you want and you believe them to be stable, go for it. The amount of badwill generated in your current situation by asking for and accepting a counter-offer is too high a premium to pay.
  • by _LORAX_ (4790) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694017) Homepage
    Don't accept it. Unless they are going to give you a bonified legal employment contract.... why...

    Because otherwise you will be the first on their list when they are looking to get rid on someone to cut costs. You are not only disloyal ( not that companies are ever loyal to you ) but you are probably making more than others doing the same work.

    Trust me, it's a bad game to play unless you are willing to accept that your employer will always be wondering if you are going to jumo ship again.
    • by Kingpin (40003)

      This has nothing to do with loyalty. It's business. Any boss should understand that - business is an employer/employee relationship as well as it's a company/company relationship.

      Any boss will respect you for asking what you're worth. If you don't - you're the naive nerd at the back of the room.

      You're not hired because of your pretty eyes, loyalty and what not, you're hired because of your skills. If you deliver, you're certainly not the first to go when things get tough.

      It's common tactics to hint your boss that a competing company is offering you a larger salary, just to make him come with a counter. For nothing else, then just to check out your own market value. If he doesn't counter, then you may very well sit in a spot where you'll be the first to go when things get tough. Loyalty goes a long way, sure, but the almighty buck goes even further. Nobody is ever going to say "Aw.. You disappoint me now" and really mean it, it's all about the money.

  • by keep_it_simple_stupi (562690) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694021) Homepage
    On whether you really like the company you work for or not. If you think they'll screw you when the time comes for cuts or another raise in the future, then you should move on. If you dig the place you work for now, then take the money. Most of the arguments on that website are BS anyway - such as "you can be bought"... Well no $hit sherlock... This is why you work, to make money. And besides, this isn't 20 or 30 years in the past where companies are actually loyal to you, I say go for the best deal!
    • by coyote-san (38515) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:56AM (#3694820)
      One point that seems to be overlooked is that the people with a bad reputation for "chasing the money" are going after relatively small sums - 10%, maybe 15% at the most. While this isn't inconsequential, most of us would happily trade 10% of our salary for better benefits, a less stressful commute, etc.

      But when you're in the 50% range, *nobody* will challenge you for putting the money first. (Well, I've known a few asshole bosses who would try to guilt you, but nobody else would give them any credence.) That's too much of a jump to ignore.

      Unfortunately, the same thing applies to counteroffers. If your boss offers you a 10% counteroffer, it's easy to justify as compensation for some thin raises during the past few years. If your boss offers you a 50% counteroffer, you'll soon be resentful because you'll realize how much you were underpaid before, your peers may become resentful, etc. It's a bad situation all around.
  • Never accepted one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vluther (5638) <vidNO@SPAMlinuxpowered.com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#3694022) Homepage Journal
    I've never accepted one before, simply because it's a temporary solution. The company was happy paying you less, and all of sudden you get more and they can pay you ?. I guess it depends on the situation, but if you've worked your ass off, and management didn't see a need to give you a raise until you threatened to leave em, it's just a sign that they'll keep you on temporarily until they find someone to replace you. Unless you're in Job nirvana(which cannot exist), I would move to the new place. Sure there are risks when you change jobs, but you have to see your situation and take the plunge.

    Never forget that these companies, will fire you even if you think the job is great and the people are great, they will fire you or.. rightsize you, if money is tight. They are in it for survival, and so are you.

    I have to say this, but your loyalty should be to yourself and your family, not to anonymous shareholders or board of directors that never have lunch with you.

    Take pride in your work, do it well, but do it for yourself, not the company.
    • by Christianfreak (100697) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:25AM (#3694539) Homepage Journal
      I think it really depends on the size of the company. And the attitude of the boss.

      I work at a small ISP. I'm in a high enough position here to know a bit about the finacial shape of the company. If a recruiter came along and asked me to leave for me to even consider would have to be a very very good offer, but supposing I did and my current boss offered to match I would take it in a heart beat.

      At my company there are no shareholders and stock prices. Just an owner. Actually an owner who is very interested in what I do and respects my opinion on techincal issues that she doesn't understand. She is here everyday, dealing with customers and helping employees and just taking a value in everyone.

      So in short I don't make as much money as some people in the industry but I don't have to worry about losing my job. And I really enjoy working here. I can't see my boss holding the want for a little more money against me, maybe I'm delusional but I think I have found a 'job nirvana'
    • by Aceticon (140883)
      [..] if you've worked your ass off, and management didn't see a need to give you a raise until you threatened to leave em, it's just a sign that they'll keep you on temporarily until they find someone to replace you [..]

      No way could it be farther from the truth.

      If you don't ask for a raise you won't get it, period.

      Very few managers are actually competent enough to take the long-term view and actually try and keep their best staff happier. If you don't say anything, even the competent ones cannot know your are unhappy because of your salary.

      Even managers that are trying to keep their staff happy have to balance between two oposites:
      1) Beter salaries for employees (sometimes having to fight through mid-level/upper management to do it) on the possibility they might become unhappy/leave because of their salary
      vs
      2) Lower salaries, more profit for the company, bigger bonuses and improved image for the manager.

      What incentives can you give a manager to align their objectives with your objectives (ie, choose option 1) - from less powerfull to more powerfull :
      a) Tell them you are unhappy with your salary.
      b) Start looking for a job and let them know about it (best after using the previous option).
      c) Come to them with an offer in your hand and tell them you are seriously considering it. (again best after the previous option).

      These options are progressivly more effective but also progressively more risky (ie the manager might decide to let you go - then again, if you are in step c, it really doesn't mater).

      One very important thing to have in mind is to let them know this is ONLY a salary question, and that you are happy with all the rest and would like to stay around if it wasn't for the salary.
      If the perception from the manager is that a salary raise will not address the main causes of your dicontentment, then they will probably let you go (unless your are really considered essencial).

      Even more important - think through very well why are you unhappy. Are you really sure it's only the salary? If it's something else, maybe you should go to management and try to address it. If it doesn't get solved just leave!!! Believe me, no ammount of salary raise will be enough to compensate the constant feeling of unhapinness.
  • by pyite69 (463042) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:37AM (#3694025)

    It is appropriate to point out to your employer
    that you potentially could be making more
    somewhere else, but you should do this before
    you accept another offer, IMO.

    If your employer says no way, then resign and
    stick to it. If you accept a new offer, then
    resign, and then change your mind due to a
    counter-offer, you are breaking your word.

    If the employer cares about you, kindly
    pointing out that you can make significantly
    more elsewhere is all it takes. If your
    current employer waits until they get a true
    resignation to do something about it, your
    employer is the one with the problem.

  • silly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrm677 (456727) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:37AM (#3694026)
    That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. A good employer will do whatever it takes, within reasonable bounds, to hold onto good employees. You should accept that as a complement and stick with your current job if you are happy with it. Its risky changing jobs...you might end up with a lousy manager or the company culture may stink.
  • by merlin_jim (302773) <James.McCracken@ ... lt.com minus bsd> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:37AM (#3694031)
    Ok, its not really a counter-offer, but its close enough I thought I'd mention it. 3 years ago in a casual conversation with a higher-up I mentioned in passing that at times I was a little miffed, considering that other companies were paying nearly 50% more for people doing the same job that I was doing, and that it was tempting at times.

    A few days later, I was offered, not quite 50% more money, but close enough to make me happy. I accepted, and have not noticed any of the problems listed in the link. My raises have not been affected, coming just as often and just as large. My relationship with my peers has not been affected, and since I'm still working at the same place, I obviously haven't been canned or decided to leave anyways yet.

    Not quite the same situation, I know, but close.
  • by Dil NaOH (415834) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:38AM (#3694039) Homepage
    I accepted a counter-offer from my current company three years ago when I had an opportunity to take a lucrative contracting position elsewhere. I told my boss that I had no desire to leave the company, but that I have a responsibility to my family to be the best provider for them that I can be. He accepted that explanation, tendered a counter-offer, and I chose to stay. I have survived two layoffs since.

  • Respect.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leucadiadude (68989) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:38AM (#3694047) Homepage
    Do you think you will retain it from your boss/co-workers?

    And do you have enough of it towards your boss to give your boss the chance to retain you?

    Seems only fair to give the person who hired you the chance to counter in good faith. By that I mean accept the counter and evaluate it honorably, don't give lip service about it. If it is a good offer be prepared to take it.
  • by ender_wiggins (81600) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:38AM (#3694048) Journal
    If you chick found another guy, and then you counter offered her, and she accepted, you know that she has been looking, and will continue to look untill she finds someone that you cant compeate with!
  • change of view (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bandman (86149) <bandman@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:38AM (#3694051) Homepage
    I think that I'd go with the first offer, just for a change of pace. I really like moving around, because I get bored if I'm in one place too long. Luckily, the job that I have now, I started as technical support, and then they moved me to assistant network administrator, so I haven't gotten bored yet. or maybe I'm just weird....

  • Take it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Telastyn (206146) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:38AM (#3694057)
    You probably could/should've demanded more before (though that's generally a no-no unless you threaten to go elsewhere) but I don't see why not to take the deal if you're happy with your job. While the other job "looks" the same, it likely isn't. Things that can make working miserable usually aren't seen until they are busy making you miserable.

  • by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:39AM (#3694063) Journal

    You should have tried to get a raise first. That would have cleared a lot of things up. But that said, you didn't, so...

    If you are an important asset to the company that can't be easily replaced, you like your job, and your company trusts you, you might be able to get away with staying. If not you should be very hesitant.

    The problem is that you've already signalled to your company that you are thinking about leaving. If you're going to stay, you should assure them that money was the only problem, you made a mistake by not talking to them first, and you won't repeat that mistake in the future. Otherwise expect that they are going to start looking for your replacement immediately, and as soon as they find her that 50% increase will be meaningless.

    Don't listen to anyone who tells you definitively one way or another what to do. Only you know your specific situation, and how trustworthy your boss is.

  • by swordboy (472941) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:40AM (#3694071) Journal
    Your current employer may be simply up the creek with you gone. They might be planning to replace you at their convienience at a later time. Since they need you up until then, they might just offer you an equivalent salary.

    My advice: this is a great time to visit a labor lawyer and write up a termination contract. Just put something down about your termination on a "non-performance" basis. This way, if they decide to fire you without documentation of poor performance, then you will have a termination clause (just ask for like 6 months of pay or something like that).

    There would be no reason for your current employer not to sign the contract since they are supposedly matching the offer based on your performance. It guarantees them that you will perform as well in the future and it guarantees you that your job won't disappear without a hefty severance.
  • by kevin42 (161303) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:40AM (#3694072) Homepage
    I think that list is a bunch of crap. Companies don't just pay what they think you are worth, they pay what they think will keep you working for them up until the point they think you aren't worth the money you want.

    In otherwords if you accepted the job for $40k and they know you are worth $100k, most companies aren't going to walk over and say "you know, you are underpaid, here's $60k a year more." No, they will say "great job, here's a $5k a year raise!

    But when it comes down to you demanding more, or telling them you are leaving they will pay you what they need to in order to keep you.

    Too many people look at employment as a personal relationship, but it is much better for everyone to remember that it is a bussiness relationship for both the employee and employer.
  • Statistics. (Score:4, Funny)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:40AM (#3694076) Homepage
    [From the article:]

    * Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is extremely high.

    Well, hey, with rock-solid information like that to go on, I'd be a fool to accept a counteroffer.

    After all, if you can't accept vague, unsubstatiated, unaccountable claims on the Internet as gospel, you just can't trust anyone.

    --saint
    • by b_pretender (105284) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @12:39PM (#3695212)
      After all, if you can't accept vague, unsubstatiated, unaccountable claims on the Internet as gospel, you just can't trust anyone.

      At first read, I thought it was rather vague, too. However, upon closer inspection, they use the adjective extremely, thus cleaning up any uncertainties about those extremely high probabilities.

      As far as being unsubstatiated or unaccountable claims, perhaps you missed the first word, statistics. Statistics show these claims, thus substatiating them. The statistics are accountable for the probabilities.

  • Two ways (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pokeyburro (472024) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:45AM (#3694154) Homepage
    There are two ways I can see this having played out in your current employer's mind.

    1. Crap. This one's leaving, but I gotta keep him here for now. I'll give him a raise, get him to finish the project, and see what happens later.

    2. This is what I get for not paying attention to pay rates enough. This guy really is worth more than he's getting to me; after all, I was paying him more before the dotcom bust. Maybe I'll offer him the raise he deserves.

    Obviously, #1 implies your employer sees you as a merc for hire. #2 means your employer actually cares. Believe me, I've been around enough to know that #2 is practically worth working for at your current pay (assuming it's enough to live on).

    You know your employer better than I do. The question is, do you think your employer cares about you and your career? If so, I'd take the counteroffer, and just to make your loyalty clear, work some longer hours for a while to show how much you appreciate it. If you think #1 is closer to the case, decline politely and enjoy your new job.
  • by geophile (16995) <jao@geo[ ]le.com ['phi' in gap]> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:46AM (#3694163) Homepage
    You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this
    day on, your loyalty will always be in question.

    If you are valuable to the company, loyalty isn't an issue. If you
    aren't, you should worry anyway.

    When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is
    loyal and who is not.

    See above.

    When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.

    See above.

    Accepting a counteroffer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow
    to your personal pride; you were bought.

    You're bought no matter where you go. You think that CEOs aren't
    bought? They are, and they're a lot more successful at it than anyone
    reading slashdot.

    Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? All companies
    have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your
    next raise early?

    Sounds good to me. And the company sees that as real money. They prefer to delay expenses when possible.

    Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a
    cheaper price.

    Again, only if you aren't all that valuable to start with.

    The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will
    repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.

    So in the meanwhile you've made more money. And maybe you get another
    counteroffer the next time you get fed up.

    Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of
    voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is
    extremely high.

    Again, so what?

    Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your
    co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal
    satisfaction of peer group acceptance.

    I accepted a counter-offer. Not clear if my co-workers know, but my
    relationship with them gas been fine. Again, if you are worth the
    money, no one in his right mind will object to you getting it.

    What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign
    before they will give you what you are worth?

    They're all like that. Get over it.
  • by K. (10774) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:48AM (#3694187) Homepage Journal
    ...you should never accept a counter-offer:

    0. We don't get commision if you stay in your old job!

  • by jsimon12 (207119) <tzzhc4&yahoo,com> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:48AM (#3694188) Homepage
    You followed protocol, and gave your employeer notice, if you think the counter offer is genuine and you would really rather stay, then by all means accept.

    As for that "10 reasons" link, it seems to have been written by a headhunter, to dissuade people being relocated to stay. In other words it is completely biased against counter offers cause it would cost the headhunter money if people accepted them.
  • by Rupert (28001) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:49AM (#3694199) Homepage Journal
    Depending on where you work, how you get more money varies. Some places you have to threaten to quit. Others will give you a raise if you tell them you think you're underpaid (and they agree). Almost no employer will voluntarily increase your pay outside of a scheduled review.

    Ignore anyone who tells you that if they valued you they'd be paying you more without you having to quit. That's nonsense. You might love your car, but when you went to the dealer you tried to get the best price you could. Maybe you even threatened to go to a different dealer. Interviewing at other companies is a legitimate tactic in salary negotiations. However, if you don't let your current employer know that salary negotiations are going on, they can get upset.
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:50AM (#3694213)
    Counter offers are a dangerous thing. I once accepted one only to quit three months later. That was because the extra cash and new job title really didn't change the things that I hated about the company I was in at the time.

    They are flattering when you get them, but step back and look at your situation critically. Consider things like these:

    - Is an increase in your present company with no other changes in the environment going to make you happy?

    - Maybe the place you're going to has better job security over your present job?

    - Are there other factors that are making you look for another position other than money?

    You also have to consider the fact that you have now telegraphed your "dislike" for your present company. Your present employer isn't going to be thrilled that you're leaving and you may find that it is difficult to work there going forward.

    I won't deny that it's a tough decision, but the safe route IMHO is to say no and move on.

  • by powerlifter (179632) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:51AM (#3694231)
    The main reason is quite simple: they were seeing what they could get away with. They were not paying you what you were worth; rather, they were paying you what they thought you'd tolerate. I NEVER work for people like that. You should politely tell your manager, "Thanks for the offer, but why did you not pay me that in the first place?" It's always interesting to see them squirm.

    I started my own consulting business for that very reason. When people ask me to lower my rates, I politely say, sorry, but that's what I'm worth. If you think you can find others, you're more than welcome to. Some walk, some don't. Yet, today, I've got an international client base and billables over $350K per person. It's gotta be working some way. Mercedes-Benz don't drop their prices below a certain point. That's the price of quality.

    OTOH, as a guy who started and sold a dot com, I can also tell you that you should have indicated some concerns BEFORE you began looking. That gives the employer a chance to re-evaluate. Sadly, in the States, you could get fired right there. Businesses here suck about loyalty.

    On a side note: I always made it a rule to tell employees that they should ALWAYS come to me with issues. No one works for me forever, so if you're not happy, that's fine. Either we can make you happy, or _I_ can help you get the next job. Who knows where you'll be in 5 years? I might need your help then! It's always worked for me, and I showed the same respect to my employees and teams as well.

    Rememnber, it's all about mutual respect.
  • by Iscariot_ (166362) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:52AM (#3694239)
    About a year ago I had an offer from a contracting agency for almost double my existing salary. After some thought, I decided to give my current employer a chance to match. I didn't really expect them too... However, after presenting my boss with the information, it took less than an hour for them to not just match, but offer me more than the contracting agency!

    My point is this. If you want to increase your salary well beyond the (typical) annual 4%, you usually have to go out and find a new job. However, if you _really_ enjoy where you work, it's definitely worth the risk of asking for them to match. What do you have to lose?
  • by mattdm (1931) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:52AM (#3694242) Homepage
    Employment is (or should be!) a more complicated situation than "how much cash am I given". If money was your sole reason for leaving and you were happy otherwise, then hey, the counteroffer should be fine. On the other hand, if there were other factors -- job duties, coworkers, schedule, general happiness, whatever -- then you need to consider whether the counteroffer addresses those. If it's just a larger bribe to tolerate a still-bad situation, you probably don't want to stay. If, on the other hand, your employer really doesn't want to lose you and demonstrates an effort to make you stay, than you should definitely consider it.
  • by TheRealFixer (552803) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @10:59AM (#3694295)
    One company I worked at, often they wouldn't OFFER you raises unless you threatened to leave. It was some sick part of the company's culture. Some of the highest payed people, and who worked there the longest (14, 15, 16 years) got where they were by entertaining outside offers every so often. It was a weird company anyway, true, but mentioning you had been offered X amount more by someone else sure didn't seem to be frowned upon.

    I take issue with an item from that "list":

    * Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.

    I have NEVER seen this to hold true. Usually, if you're in that position, your co-workers will understand where you're coming from, and no one treats you differently. If anything, they respect you for taking a stand. Especially in a low-morale corporate culture.
  • Always change jobs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced (323149) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:01AM (#3694313) Journal
    Always change jobs, if you are ambitious. As a rule, it will help your career in the long term. The reason for that is that you move socially-economically-professionally in an environment (company) till you find your equilibrium (balance) point. The forces that interact for that balance are complex, and of different importance in each environment. But the golden rule applies : Once the equilibrium is reached, it's difficult to leave it.


    So you need to search for another environment. A judicious selection of the new environment is important. But the most important thing is that you won't be in an statis anymore, you will be moving. Your entrance in the new environment will probably upset all existing... well... equilibria (hey, that's nice, probably even correct! :o) and change the relationships. You will seek your new rest point. If you are smart, that will be a better one. In any case, the social dynamics of that are much more interesting that the simple statis of your old job.


    Of course, if you "only" want an easy well payed job for all your life, please keep to the known environments.

  • Never say never (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel@b ... m ['ree' in gap]> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:03AM (#3694338) Homepage Journal
    there are a *lot* of ppl out there who believe you should never accept a counter-offer.

    There are all sorts of things to look at when deciding to accept/reject a counter offer. Most importantly, take advantage of the fact that you now have a choice.

    One is: Just how good is your current employer? If they spuriously gave you a 30% pay cut on the premise of the dot-com bust, are they likely to do it again? Are they willing to give you a written promise that you will keep your new job/salary for a long period of time? How stable is the company if it had to give it's employees a 30-50% pay cut? If this is actually an issue, are they willing to offer you a golden parachute? More to the point: Just how much do you trust your current company (or -- for that matter -- the company that made the first offer).

    You also have to consider peer-acceptence whether you stay or go. If this presages a general increase in wages, your peers may love you for what you are setting in motion.
    You may want to talk to your peers. They may have info on your current company that influences your go/no-go decision. You may (or may not) want to get into the details of 50%, but you can probably let them know that you now have offers from another company and your boss, and you need to make a choice. If nothing else, they'll find out when you've left.. Why not do them the honor of letting them know now.

    Also: consider that the "never accept a counter-offer" pages are possibly put up by head-hunters who only make money if they get your head.
    They don't actually care about your career. They only care about the money that they get for placing you (and then for placing your replacement -- and then replacing that replacement ... ... ...)

  • by Nomad7674 (453223) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:05AM (#3694352) Homepage Journal
    At my last job, I was extended and accepted a counter-offer when I was out looking for a job. The key is to be honest with everyone involved, including yourself. Before you step out the door (or onto DICE.COM) consider why you are looking for a new job and what would resolve the problem you are trying to address. Is it just money? Then a counteroffer should be in your considerations. Is it appreciation, management style, duties, etc.? Then maybe not. Then once you have decided the options, be sure to tell your recruiter and/or interviewer that you plan to entertain counteroffers from your current employer. They will let you know how that sits with them - some will decide then and there NOT to extend an offer because they want you definitely; others will be encouraged because it means you will extend THEM the same courtesy when/if you decide to leave their employ. This can work out for both sides.

    My first time looking for a new job, a counteroffer was possible. My reasons for leaving were general dissatisfaction and lack of appreciation. I got an offer, came to my boss and laid all the cards on the table. He agreed to match the offer AND to address my other issues. The company improved and I got paid better. Next time around, my reasons for leaving were lost trust in a different manager and a belief that they were phasing out my department. This time, the counteroffer was again extended, but it was never an issue. I refused and am happily at the new job.
  • by tcc (140386) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @11:27AM (#3694562) Homepage Journal
    The company I went to that offered me 50% salary increase got me going from a very good company to a new startup, at that time I was ready to take the risk of being "screwed" in the worse case scenario. Job stability wasn't my main concern back then so I could afford "experimenting". What an experimentation it was, I got screwed big time, promises promises and after 6 months I've lost my job with some lawyers letter (the ceo there was a total freak and liar). After fighting to get my last week of pay and my overtime... anyways all this to say, this wasn't worth the 50% increase, the other place wasn't paying as much but I had a "name" and potential title to put on my resume. Worse, after I left and some other did the same, they re-ajusted their salary brackets and while it wasn't matching what I got, it was still good enough to consider the type of work and the stability for the little difference it gave.

    So basically, if you are looking for stability, and want to risk it in a startup that offers good salary so you they can start up properly with the good people, it's a risk, and depending on how much you are willing to risk and where you live, there are tools that you can use to protect yourself.

    The other thing when you stay at a company that makes a counter-offer, some CEOs are dumbasses, especially in startup. They will take the fact that you looked elsewhere personnally "what, you think I am not treating you well? you think blablablabla? how dare you!", and they will always have that little irrationnal something caught between how professionnal you are and their judgment, some (very few) bosses understand this and respond in a good way, but most are very idiotic about it. That's one thing I like about some bigger companies, if you did a good job and leave because you got better pay, they reajust, and offer you to come back if it doesn't succeed, that way you'll have gained extra experience and if you get back chances are you'll be a more stable ressource and etc etc and they will rely on you more.

    One thing you can do to be sure when you get a counteroffer, it shows that he really wants to keep you and you can ask more, like a one year contract so that way if shit breaks loose, you'll still get 1 year of salary for sure and he won't be able to fire you under normal circumstances. One thing I often saw is the CEO acts like if nothing happened and it's normal life going, he hires somebody with a different function but can overlap yours and ends up kicking you out. This is very common and "buisness is buisness" they'll say.

    I also had a good experience going into another company with a bit higher salary, but it was people I already knew for a long time and all, so I guess this wouldn't count :).

  • by labradore (26729) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @12:05PM (#3694909)
    Instead of telling your boss that you have a job offer from another company that is better for you than you current job, instead ask for a raise (if this is what you want most) or if you think your boss will change the work environment to suit your needs then ask for that.
  • Childish attitude (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zmooc (33175) <zmooc&zmooc,net> on Thursday June 13, 2002 @12:08PM (#3694934) Homepage
    I consider the job market to be a market as all other on which the prices are made up by offer and demand. Counteroffers are a normal consequence of this; employers are sometimes just a bit slow to adapt to the market prices and employees usually don't notice they're worth a lot more until they get an offer for another job. There's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. So let's talk about the 10 reasons for not accepting a counteroffer [about.com] (beware of the popup with the ad:P):

    You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.
    No you have not; you've made your employer aware that he's not paying you enough and this has nothing to do with loyalty. If your loyalty is in question, this is not a consequence of the offer but of the stupidity of you employer.

    When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not.
    See #1. Also: if your employer made you a counteroffer, you're at least worth something so maybe your chances at promotion time are even higher:)

    When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.
    Nothing wrong with that; when times get tough, there's less work available for you so your value on the jobmarket gets lower so it's perfectly normal to get a cutback. Your chance to get a cutback at another employer is about just as high.

    Accepting a counteroffer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride; you were bought.
    Accepting a counteroffer means you actually like your job but get payed more. How can that possibly be a blow to your personal pride?!

    Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? All companies have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your next raise early?
    Maybe it was. Is that so bad? Getting a raise earlier doesn't implicate that you won't get another raise soon.

    Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price.
    And they will get what they pay for so when they can do with someone cheaper, you're probably not the right man for the job anyway. And if you're not the right person, just don't accept the counteroffer

    The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.
    So? There are other ways to make it clear to your employer that you're worth more than he's paying for.

    Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is extremely high.
    So...where are those statistics?

    Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.
    If your co-workers are such assholes, maybe you shouldn't accept the counteroffer and go work somewhere else, but this has nothing to do with the counteroffer.

    What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they will give you what you are worth?
    A company that doesn't know that well what you're worth. That's not a good thing, but it's not reason not to accept a counteroffer.

    Conclusion: the 3 reasons for not accepting a counteroffer are: 1. Your boss is an asshole, 2. Your collegues are assholes or 3. You're not the right man for the job (or just don't like the job). Oh and maybe you'd also noticed these 10 reasons where on a site called `jobtechsearch'. Their sole goal is to get you a new job so counteroffers are a bad thing for them:)

  • by foote (441858) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @12:09PM (#3694941)

    1. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.

    Possibly true. But in a company run by grown-ups, you're supposed to let management know that you're unhappy. You are not supposed to whine about it, but you can state, in a reasonable way, that you are dissatisfied. That's what you do when you ask for a raise. And only foolish, childish managers will be shocked (Shocked!) to learn that some employees don't love the company. Of course, not everybody's a grown up.

    2. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not.

    See above. And, they will also remember who was good enough to receive an offer of a fifty percent raise, and who was considered valuable enough to be retained with a similar raise.

    3. When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.

    Perhaps. There are no guarantees in life.

    4. Accepting a counteroffer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride; you were bought.

    This is ridiculous. We are bought with our salaries. It is how the system works, and it's a reasonable and honorable exchange: work for pay. If you do something unethical because you've been offered lots of money, that's different. Volunteering is great if you are independently wealthy. Most are not. I've allowed myself to be bought away from the life of leisure I prefer: The company told me that if I write programs they'll give me money.

    5. Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? All companies have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your next raise early?

    Could be. One of the wage and salary guidelines most companies follow is to get and retain the people they need for the least amount of money. That's why you negotiate salaries and push a bit.

    6. Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price.

    Doubtful. If I were going to do that I would probably just let the person take the new job and then start looking. If the position was so vital that I couldn't do that, I would consider making a counter-offer to retain somebody who already knew the company and the job.

    7. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.

    True in some cases. But in the post we're discussing, the only difference between the jobs was money.

    8. Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is extremely high.

    As others have noted, I want to know the details on these statistics.

    9. Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.

    Word does not always get out. And I personally still respect one of our sysadmins who stayed with our company on the basis of a counter offer. He's been here for five years since then, and everything is fine. I'm not an idiot and neither are my co-workers. The guy is good, he has a family to feed and parents to take care of, another company offered him money, and our company offered more to keep him. They made a good move. Management and staff knew why he was going to leave, because they also use money to purchase goods and services for themselves and their families.

    10. What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they will give you what you are worth?

    A normal one. Not that the person who posted this couldn't have asked for more money sooner, obviously, but he didn't. It does not sound as though he was asking and asking and then finally, after many months of trying to get what he was worth, had to threaten to leave. He didn't know what he was worth to the company and only found out when he tried to leave.

    Management may feel strong-armed in this situation, and they may resent him. Maybe it is better to leave. Also, variety and change are good. But that top ten list was weak.

  • Personal Story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @12:54PM (#3695322) Homepage
    I used to work at a major defense contractor.
    After two or three layoff rounds, I put my resume out on the web... didn't think too much about it, because I was happy where I was. About 6 months later, I get a call from a recruiter. I get an offer that's about a 20%.

    My then-current employer offered to match (sans options, but I wasn't counting on those :-P). I looked at the situation... I had a hell of a lot of seniority (I'd worked there for 17 years), but on the other hand, I was pushing 40, and I had a "now or never" feeling. I gave them my regrets, explained that it had nothing to do with the company, and that while the counter was generous, I really felt that it was just time to leave. No hard feelings, I was told that if I ever wanted to come back, and there was an opening, no problem. Privately, my direct boss told me that even if there wasn't an opening, he'd make one if I needed one. That security blanket was a big help, since I was going to a small start-up.

    I had a friend who accepted there a counter 6 years ago, and he's still there.

  • by lindsley (194412) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @02:06PM (#3695933)
    Two experiences from two different employers.

    One, less than a year out of college I got an unsolicited offer from within 50 miles of home. Considering I was now 1500 miles from home, and considering they were offering a 20% raise, I considered it a nobrainer. But my current employer offered me a promotion and 30% raise for me to stay. In the end, I figured longevity at my first job would look better on my resume, and with some apprehension, stayed with my then-current employer. Right decision. 2 more promotions and five years later, I left on my own terms because I didn't like the new projects being handed to the group, and my not liking that wasn't going to change anything.

    Then several years ago, I vented at my boss after being asked to give up an already-planned weekend vacation that considering the sacrifices being asked of me and considering the positions and salaries of those around me, I was underpaid. It was not an ultimatum, just a firm statement of opinion. I concluded (in person) that "while this isn't enough for me to go distribute my resume, on the day that I do do that, if you ask me when I first became disenchanted with my job, I will probably say today."

    And they apologized, agreed, and offered me a small raise (about 3%) with the promise that this was above and beyond my salary review (due in a couple of months.) And they were good to their word.

    There are three things that make me want to work somewhere: 1) The people I work with, 2) The things I am doing, and 3) What I get paid. On any given day, these can be in different order of importance. Whenever I feel any two of them are out of whack, I start looking for a new job. If only one is out of whack, I talk to my manager about it to see if something can be improved. So far, in almost all cases, it could. In those cases when it couldn't, I found a new job and entertained no counter offers, because the counters, I felt, didn't address ALL of my concerns.

    Loyalty now is to people, not companies. If I respect my manager I'll try to work with him or her. If I respect my co-workers, I may actually stay because of them. But loyalty to a company is an (unfortunately) outdated concept, because companies are no longer loyal to employees.

    And hey, guess what -- I'm not afraid of my managers reading this because I've already had this conversation with them.
  • by markmoss (301064) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @02:12PM (#3695990)
    First, a general note: Many companies are remarkably unaware of the going rates until departing key employees enlighten them. Hence counteroffers occur because you showed them the hard way that they miscalculated your market value before. If everyone is adults, that is probably all there is to it. If your boss isn't emotionally adult, don't miss an opportunity to leave...

    * You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.

    Loyalty??? How 1950's... It depends on the company culture. If they bothered with the counter-offer, either it isn't too big a problem, or else they really, really need you to stick around while they hunt for a replacement. Better understand your own company well enough to tell the difference.

    I am assuming here that you repeatedly told your boss the salary was inadequate _before_ you started looking outside. If your outside jobhunting was a complete surprise, whether because you never asked for a raise or because the boss is an idiot whose forgotten all the times you showed him salary surveys, etc., then you'd better get out, because you have pissed off a powerful idiot...

    * When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not.

    You expected a promotion on top of that big pay raise?

    * When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you.

    Or maybe if they needed you bad enough to make the counteroffer, you'll be the last one they lay off. But usually in a real crunch the question is not you, it's whether the work you are doing is still vital considering the product lines they are dumping.

    * Accepting a counteroffer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride; you were bought.

    If there's any chance your boss is as childish as this, by all means get out. If you are as childish as this, I hope it wasn't my company that made that offer...

    * Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? All companies have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your next raise early?

    Whether you can expect continuing raises beyond the counteroffer is a question you must ask. However, in most companies wage and salary guidelines matter only as long as employees believe they are a reasonable excuse for not keeping salaries competitive. They'll tell you they can't give you a raise because of the guidelines, but it's just an excuse. If they really can't break the guidelines to hire and keep the people they really need, you should have been looking for a new job a long time ago, because this company is doomed to death by bureacracy.

    * Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price.

    Maybe. If you work on a project by project basis, they might be just stringing you along to the end of the current project, but otherwise, if they thought they could replace you they'd have said goodbye already.

    * The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.

    If you were looking for other work because of working conditions, don't even think about counteroffers. (Unless it's to promote you to CEO so you _can_ fix the problems.) But if it was just about pay raises, just make sure the counteroffer is big enough that you won't need another raise before the next merger/split/reorganization/corporate bankruptcy makes it irrelevant anyway.

    * Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is extremely high.

    Source? I can make up statistics too.

    * Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.

    Refer back to what I said about loyalty. Your office isnt like a Little League team, I hope

    * What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they will give you what you are worth?

    A typical one. That's partly because so many companies don't know what their employees are worth until they have to think about replacing them, but also it's in the fundamental nature of commercial negotiations. You are selling yourself. In any negotiated sale, a person who lets it be seen that he isn't willing to walk away is going to get screwed.

    To go back to "loyalty": in this context, it's a trick to put you in the ready-to-be-screwed frame of mind.

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