First the conclusion of this Blog. Simply put: Avoid the Counter Offer. Best practices for resignation are very simple. 1) make the decision to find a new job, and stick with it. 2) keep communications limited to what it takes to move your career forward. 3) Don’t hesitate or waffle on your decision. And, 4) Whatever you do, don’t turn down your new job offer to take a counter offer from your employer.
If you understand this – you don’t have to read the whole blog. If you want to know why, the reasons follow.
The steps people go through in changing jobs vary. But some basic decisions are part of the process. Most of these are between YOU and YOU. You get to this place for a number of dynamic reasons. That is normal.
Knowing the roadmap from where you are, to where you are trying to get in the next phase of your career is helpful. Visualizing what you will go through will guide you and help keep you from getting lost along the way.
You’ve made several decisions that have got you to this point in time.
- You determined you were ready to leave your current company (the reason is less important than the decision).
- You engaged in a job search.
- You found a good opportunity or several opportunities.
- You recognize a new job will take advantage of skills you were not using in the job you are leaving.
- You like the career growth possible with the new position
- You interviewed with the new company(ies) to know where you are going.
- The new company meets your criteria for the next place you want to go work (leadership, culture, work-environment, etc.)
- You receive a good job offer in your hand with a good salary, benefits and terms which you require in order to make a move.
- You have accepted the job offer.
And then comes the stressful step of quitting your job.
Quitting Your Job
You need to turn in your resignation letting your current employer know you are leaving. Of course, you want to do this respectfully. You want to give your employer ample time to find your replacement. And you want to do your best not to burn any bridges.
Your current supervisor/manager is surprised to get the news that you are leaving. They ask you why you are leaving? You explain that you found a new opportunity and it will leverage your skills and offer you growth that you didn’t have in your current role. They now act shocked and disappointed that you didn’t say anything to them earlier that you needed more.
Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the details of your new job offer with your manager. Keep those details to yourself.
Your manager asks what compensation and benefits your new offer will provide. This is a red flag you should recognize. It indicates what the manager is interested in (your career? or the job you will leave him to fill). At this point, don’t fall into the trap to share details about your new offer. Focus on the simple fact that you have made your decision, and the new job fits your career growth plan
At this point, the conversation will likely go one of two ways. Path one is to support your career decision. Path two will be to try to convince you to sacrifice your career decision with a counter offer.
Response of Support
The best thing that could happen is that the manager understands what brought you to this point (in the list above). This mentoring manager knows that individuals manage their own careers, and looks at the initiative you have taken as a positive thing for you. As a professional and exceptional leader, your manager then would tell you he supports your decision and wants to retain your professional relationship as coworkers. Your manager knows not to burn bridges and realizes that when you both remain business contacts going forward, your paths may cross again. You say thank you and complete the exit interview and other terms of your commitment as an exiting employee.
Response of the Counter Offer
The not so good path that the resignation discussion might go is that the manager looks at your resignation as a critical issue for him, the company, or work activities in progress. This manager is unprepared for organizational ebb and flow and does not consider the need for career growth of his employees. He is unprepared and is thinking only of how he’s going to handle the void that your departure will create when you leave.
The Counter Offer comes up as a quick and easy way to try to avoid the situation. Unfortunately, this means the manager is not thinking of your career growth. Instead, they are thinking about manipulating you to stay in your former role in order to keep from having to deal with the situation.
The situation is that your departure will leave a gap. The Manager will have to do your job to fill the gap, and a search for your replacement must be initiated – and that takes time.
Unfortunately, your resignation also educated your manager. It put him on notice that they need to be ready for bench strength changes and prepare for employee departures. Of greater concern to you is that your resignation also educated your manager that YOU want to leave. It educated him that you don’t want to be there, in your current job. That means they need to avoid the situation, by preemptively replacing you.
When you resign, you educate your manager that you don’t want to work for him anymore. Managers will doubt your interest in being on their team from that point forward.
YOU have to realize that the employer you are leaving is not going to change all the factors you found in your new job offer for the long term. You want to know that upon departure, your manager supports your career decision.
A counter offer only shows your employer’s interest in holding you in the job you want to grow beyond. And, buys time for them to find your replacement. Yes, there’s a high probability you will be terminated and replaced because you just told your employer you don’t want to be there!
A Counter Offer is only short-term, and can convince you give up your career aspirations. It is most likely false interest in retaining you for the long term.
The counter offer just buys your employer time to replace you. You are ready to take that new job now. The counter offer is false interest in retaining you. That job offer you turn down for the counter offer will be long gone, and you could find yourself unemployed. Never take the counter offer. Review the best practices in the first paragraph.
Barton Professional Placement Group
When coaching candidates, Barton Professional Placement does its best to guide individuals along a path that will enrich and grow their career. These are tough decisions affected by a lot of emotion. If you are a candidate, ask us for coaching to learn more about the dynamics of counter offers. If you are a client of ours, and wondered how this dynamic works – give us a call to learn more about avoiding this situation with a solid bench strength strategy. Bringing candidates and potential employers together is our expertise. Call us NOW.