Sep 222012

GigSpire was asked:

“What are the pros of accepting a counter offer from your own company when you’ve found another job and what are the cons?”

GigSpire’s Answer:

Counter offers happen regularly, particularly if you are a good worker. The sad part is studies demonstrate that in most cases (some show more than 80%) people who accept a counter offer leave and start a new job in 6 months or less.

Here is why:

Most people choose to leave a company for more than money, status or prestige. Some of the reasons why people quit a job is a disconnect with the company culture, travel/commute, leadership and/or direction of the organization or upward mobility. Counter offers may provide the worker with more money, a new title and even more responsibility. In almost every case however, the main reason a person has decided to seek a new job cannot be resolved by a counter offer.

Once a counter offer is accepted, the joy of receiving the bump in pay or that promotion that has been promised for so long can sooth the pain of the real issue…for a time. As the “honeymoon” phase of this new situation dissipates, the real issues surface once again causing the worker to venture out into the marketplace to seek new employment…this time to get away from the true problem with the job.

The number one reason an employer will make a counter offer:

The hiring manager is caught off guard and cannot afford to have a business channel slow down while a replacement worker is sourced, hiring, trained and brought up to speed.

Counter offers are bad news because the worker now has a target on his or her back. The company now knows the person is unhappy and will most likely find a new job in the next 6 months…except now the company has time to prepare for the worker’s exodus.

All too often a person will accept a counter offer, be told they have an avenue for promotional opportunities as soon as they hire the replacement and train them…next thing you know the worker has trained his or her replacement with no real next step defined. Effectively that worker can now be released without a detriment to the functions of the business. Additionally the company that extended the original offer and was spurned by the counter offer is no longer interested in the worker.

People should realize that leaving a company is common in today’s work world, everyone leaves. Thinking about the people who will let down, projects that will go unfinished, leaving a boss “hanging”, the fear of change…all of these items become reasons for people to decide to accept a counter offer.

When a person gets a good job offer they should treat it like pulling off a bandage. Give 2 weeks notice, thank the company for the opportunity and the counter offer, decline and start the new job. We recommend our students not set themselves up for disappointment when the things that were wrong and caused them to want leave in the first place are not resolved by a counter offer.

Sep 082012

Ask professional poker players what the hardest part of their job is most of them will emphatically reply, “knowing when to walk away.” There often moments in our lives where we know walking is a must but we’re torn and many times even haunted by the choices we’ve made because none of us have the gift of seeing the future. Leaving many people paralyzed with having tough make a tough choice. Take the job offer or continue to search until the right opportunity comes along

In this economy we might feel like we don’t have a choice. If our backs are against the wall and we’re giving up more by continuing to be unemployed does it make sense to pass on a job offer? What considerations should you be making? How do you take into account the different aspects of the job to objectively see how it will fit into your life?

First things first, you need to evaluate what the job brings to the table. Make a list of pros and cons. This will get all the ideas, insecurities, and potential threats out of the way.

Ask yourself these questions:
○             Is the job engaging enough?
Are you the type of person that needs lots of ongoing projects or maybe you’re the type that needs to be organized and plugged into a desk at all times. How important is it that the work not be too hard or too easy? Is it important that your brain is tasked and challenged each day?

○             Is the commute reasonable?
Are you going to be driving more than the national average to get to work (25.1 minutes) and will this work with your out of work schedule  (kids, school, sports, second job, etc).

○             Are you going to be able to grow with this job and be promoted inside the company?
Do you care about quick promotions and leadership within a company or is that not a concern to you?

○             Will the compensation allow you to live comfortably?
What can you afford to be paid? Does it make sense to take a pay cut for enjoyment of the work or vice versa?

○             Is the work stable?
Will the threat of being jobless loom over your head the entire time you’re there?

Next, ask yourself a few remaining things:

  • Can I fit in with the culture?
  • Are there other job offers on the way?
  • Am I going to take issue with the ethics of this organization?
  • Are the terms of the offer reasonable?
  • Are you nervous about taking the job because you’re afraid of something new or risk?

The answers you give to the questions about should be taken into account and thought over for a couple of days.  The information received and feelings of excitement/fear at a job offer need a little time to even out before you should make a decision one way or another.

The reason we teach people how to properly search for jobs and find a satisfying career is so that they don’t wind up in a job that isn’t a good fit and then go back to searching for a job all over again a year later.