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Offers and Counteroffers

Once you’ve accepted an offer, your recruiter can coach you through the resignation process, talk with you about the dangers of accepting a counteroffer, and help you make a smooth transition.

Consider these universal truths regarding counteroffers:

  • Counteroffers are usually nothing more than stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.

  • Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion, or promises made to keep you.

  • No matter what the company says when making its counteroffer, you will always be considered a flight risk. Having demonstrated your lack of loyalty, you will lose your status as a “team player” and your place in the inner circle.

  • A counteroffer is not about what is best for you; it is about what is best for the company. Why would a company wait until the eleventh hour to keep someone it claims to value so highly?


If you expect to receive an offer to stay with your firm, how should you deal with it? First, don’t allow a counteroffer discussion to occur. Leaving the door open for discussion induces the company to invest time and resources into enticing you to stay. This can make you feel guilty, which makes it more difficult to stick to your decision to leave, even though you know you should honor it.

Take an active part in your own career management. If your company is interested in your progression, you’ll know it before you decide to resign. If you change your mind and stay, your motives and methods will always be suspect. Keep a steady course and don’t look back.

Submit a courteous, positive and final resignation letter that leaves no room for discussion. By behaving honorably, you may have the option of re-employment with the company or to join a former boss elsewhere later on. You’ll also have the chance to start a promising new role with additional challenges, an expanded network, an untarnished reputation and a clear conscience. Everybody wins.

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