Counteroffers are typically used to temporarily dissuade an employee from leaving his or her current position and company. They are presented only after the employee has submitted a resignation and used as a last effort to buy the company time so that they can prepare for the inevitable departure. They usually promise enhanced compensation or a potential promotion. These tactics hopefully persuade the employee to stay in the current position long enough for the company to make alternate plans and find a replacement.

Most people are put-off by counteroffers, believing they promise too little, too late. This reaction is not unfounded, as most counteroffers are not intended to benefit the employee at hand.

The following list provides reasons why people should be leery of counteroffers:

  • Statistics show accepting a counteroffer results in a high probability of being let go, or leaving voluntarily, within the next year. National statistics show that 89% of individuals who accept counteroffers last in their positions no longer than 6 months.
  • When it is time for the company to cut losses you will be the first to be downsized.
  • Now that your company knows you are unhappy they will attempt to replace you as quickly as possible. They will immediately start looking for a replacement with equal qualifications and lower salary expectations.
  • You will be passed over for promotions, as you have already expressed disloyal intentions.
  • If you are given a bump in compensation it will effect your future pay raises.
  • Having submitted your resignation and making known your discontent you will forever be scrutinized and your loyalty questioned.
  • Your coworker relationships will change because of your counteroffer acceptance. They may possibly resent you for threatening your employer into a salary raise or promotion. They will also know you have intentionally differentiated yourself for selfish reasons.
  • Ask yourself if you really want to be a part of a company that only grants you “fair market value” for your skills after you’ve threatened resignation.
  • The reasons you wanted to leave don’t change when you accept a counteroffer. The same problems will persist despite the temporary bump in compensation or responsibility.
  • One of the most compelling problems with accepting a counteroffer is admitting that you have been "bought out". It's a blow to your pride and an insult to your intelligence and self-worth.

The best way to deal with a counteroffer is usually to not entertain the idea in first place. The best way to avoid a counteroffer situation is by stating in the resignation letter that you are not interested in negotiating and are completely confident in your decision to terminate your employment.

This example resignation letter offers a way to resign without burning a bridge, and without inviting any reconsideration of your current position:

"Dear NAME:
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that I have accepted a new position (company’s name is optional) and, therefore, offer my official resignation.

I intend to continue my service for another two weeks, but will understand if you request I leave today in light of my acceptance of this new opportunity.

It has been a pleasurable and rewarding experience to work for this organization, however I feel my long term career goals will be best served by making this necessary change at this time. My decision has been well thought out and is final. I do not wish to consider any counteroffers or alternate negotiations.

I appreciate the good times, training, and, above all, the ability to make a considerable contribution to this organization. I hope you feel the same and appreciate your respect for my decision.


Encore Solutions, Inc.
Attn: Bill Schleifman
9816 W.Freiburg Drive #B
Littleton, CO 80127
Phone: 720-420-9696

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