Why You Should Never Accept A Counter Offer

In the words of the famous Clash song ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ 

Is accepting a Counter Offer the right thing to do for your career?

In short – No.

An important question to consider. Or should I say not to consider. What is important to consider is the reasons why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer.

A huge part of the recruitment process for me personally is anticipating what might happen. The same for your job search. The market is becoming more and more candidate led, often with candidates in possession of more than one offer of employment. Add to that a counter offer and soon it becomes a confusing and difficult decision. And despite being a recruiter my advise to you isn’t biased. I am here to guide and support you to make the best decision for your future career.

Choosing to stay could be the biggest mistake you make. I’ve seen too many candidates jump into a decision, without considering the consequences and would like you to consider your options. This is why I am telling you to decline a counter offer. Say thank you, but no thank you.

What is a counter offer? It is an offer from your current employer to rival the one you have received from your future employer, to convince you to stay. Counter offers can take many forms: a straight increase in salary, additional company benefits, a sought-after promotion or new job title. A question you need to ask yourself, is that enough? Surely you have considered your options before interviewing. Worked through a CPD Plan with your Director. Explored your options. You wanted to move, you’ve been through the recruitment process, you’ve been successful and you have secured a job that meets your criteria. Why would you then consider staying?

Here are 3 reasons why I believe you should never accept a counter offer…

Why now?

Why are they reviewing your package now? At the point of you saying that your time with the business has come to an end. At the point of you being disengaged. Can they really turn this around? And is it for selfish reasons? Rather than lose you, your knowledge and struggle to replace you, this is the point they value you. This offer should have come before you decided to resign. Remember the reason why you decided to look for a new path in the first place. Remember why your head was turned. By turning down an offer, will it be harder to move in the future?


Will it be the same again? Some would describe leaving a job like leaving a relationship. Once you have handed in your notice, is there really a way back with the Senior Management Team? Will there be trust? Reasonably so it could have an affect on the relationship between you and your manager. Could this affect your development if you do stay? Trust works both ways – perhaps you wanted a pay rise or increase in responsibility, neither happened or were supported. I think it is safe to say it is likely that the problem won’t go away.


Consider your reputation when declining an offer. Think about the possibility of your paths crossing with the hiring manager or Director again. It really is a small world in some fields. On the other hand, consider how damaging it could be to accept a counter offer, only to leave within six months as the problem never really went away. Consider how the situation has gone for others who have had to decide whether to stay or go. Say thank you, but no thank you.


Don’t let your ego get in the way of doing the right thing. Consider your options. It is important to keep a clear head, take a step back and consider the options available. Talk to your recruiter. Take on impartial advice. But mostly stay true to yourself. In some ways be selfish. Make the effort to move on. Choose happiness.


If you would like to discuss your job search with one of the team at H2 get in touch with one of our consultants. We will endeavour to support you and guide you throughout the process.