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It is a regular occurrence for candidates to receive counter offers from their current employers. It is difficult for many firms to stand apart from others and attract the best talent so they have to focus on retaining the best talent they currently have, but should you feel happy with the counter offer, or is it just something that will make you happy for a short period and then eventually find yourself back to square one and wanting to make a move?

Of course, at first you receive a counter offer with more money, better work-life balance and the promise of career progression, so naturally, you listen to the offer and sometimes you may be comfortable where you are and feel it is easier to just stay put.

We do advise that you think about this carefully as over 60% of the candidates that have accepted counter offers with us, have come back to us looking for a new role within 6 months, the reasons for this are often for the same reason they were looking in the first place. Things may be promised, but a lot of the time it won’t really change – don’t get me wrong, sometimes things do change slightly, and you may be happy for a further 12 months, but chances are you will end up wanting to look for something new.

In the current market, it is understandable that an employer may look at offering a better package in the short term to stop you from leaving. If you have the right skills and fit the culture of the department you will be a valued member of the team and to replace you would not be easy. They may also realise that investing time in to searching for someone new and then giving them the training needed takes away a lot of fee earning time, so it would just be easier to give you a pay rise.

As flattering as it can be to receive a counter offer, it is important to take time to consider this before accepting. You wanted a change and have invested a lot of time in meeting with new firms and getting to know what opportunities are out there, you then get to the stage where you have accepted a role that is giving you everything you wanted next. Would you then want to stay in the same position you are in and run the risk of being unhappy further down the line? There is a high chance that you would also burn bridges with the firm offering the role as they have also invested much of their time into the process.

This is why it is also worth taking time to reflect on the reasons you wanted a new role and make sure if you do decide to stay put that there is a clear vision to overcome the issues you may previously have had.

The one thing you should be questioning is, why should it take for you to tell your current employer you are leaving for them to then want to give you a salary increase or promotion? If you were really valued this would have been dealt with long before you invested time in looking for a new role. This is also a warning sign that you may be happy for the short term, but chances are you will end up wanting to find a new role again in the future, so it may be worth committing to a firm that is offering you a better set up from day one.

If you do decide to accept the counter offer do bear in mind that you will have to work hard to earn back your employer’s trust, which can take a long time.

It can be a difficult and stressful period and we understand that here at JMC. If you do find yourself in this position, we are always happy to talk things through with you and give you genuine career advice.

Sean