Is It OK to Take a Counteroffer in This Case? | Job Search Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter answers a question about whether it is OK to accept a counteroffer.

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Here is 1 of those questions I was asked on quora and I want to help sort this out for someone.

Here is the scenario. A person has been working in a job that he or she really likes. He gets a call from someone that he interviewed with. Several years ago. In the call, the person is offered a 45% increase in salary. They don't feel underpaid about the amount of the increase was so significant that they had to consider it. When they gave notice, the boss countered with a proposal that exceeded the increase the other firm had made and saying that it would change nothing in their relationship. There will be no ill will or anything like that.

The boss said that the salary gap was big enough that he couldn't blame me. He would have done the same thing in my shoes.  They had a candid conversation and the person writes, "I would love to stay in my current job with this new salary. I know for sure I will be much happier at my current company. Then with the new one   But the advice is usually to never ever take a counteroffer.  I am wondering if this should be 1 of those exceptions."

I want to start by saying that there are no rules except the ones that you want to engage with.

So, don't look to the outside for the rule; just look for what feels right.

I don't know if there will be an impact on you by staying; that's usually what most of the caution is about.

The cautions usually say "You are getting your next raise in advance. They're going to hold it over you. After all, when it comes time for promotion, are they going to reward you or the loyal person who hasn't made waves?" That is the standard advice.

When I hear about a 45% raise, I tend to think of an individual with a lower salary. So it's not like you're making $240,000 per year and being offered a 45% increase. The probability is that you are a lower wage relatively new person in the workforce for whom (I don't know what your real numbers are because you don't really speak about them)-- let's say you're a $40,000 per year person getting a 45% raise-- you are still under $60,000. That's chump change to a firm.

Don't be concerned about percentages. Even though everyone is throwing that percentage in your face , and I know will make a difference, but at the end of the day, it still translates into, "you are not making a lot of money and you have been underpaid for a long time."

The real thing is can you trust your boss. I know from experience that if I feel blackmailed to do something and there is a bad day, the 1st thing I would do is say, "I can't believe I gave this person 45% more and they are still working like crap for me!"

Again, it's an emotional response. I'm not criticizing your boss. I just know that at that moment he was trying to sell you on staying with their firm. Just consider that they have good intentions and, like an abusive spouse, may not be able to fulfill them in their entirety.

At the end of the day I have to say trust your gut.

It is really the best advice someone can give you. After all, you know the people that are involved.

The only question I would have for you is if your value was so much higher than what you are being paid previously, why were you underpaid for so long? Why did your current firm take advantage of you?

Once you have that answer for yourself, I think you know what decision to make.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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