7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counteroffer When Looking for Work

Freddie Adams

You’ve been considering leaving your current job in the construction, engineering, or environmental fields for some time because you’re underpaid, stuck in a rut, and/or underappreciated. You have been showing up at a job site because of obligations, and even those barely get you out of bed and into work. You have recently spent the necessary time job hunting, attending interviews, and submitting your resignation, only to have your boss present you with a counteroffer so that you will not leave. When you submit your resignation, no matter how flattering the counter offer is. You should not accept it for the reasons listed below.

1. Accepting a counteroffer is a quick fix for the problem. You wanted to leave your job in the environmental, engineering, or construction industries for a reason. It could be a lack of advancement opportunities, a general sense that the career path you’re on isn’t going to produce the desired results, miserable working conditions, poor management, and/or burnout. Even if the counteroffer includes solutions to your problems, it may only be a matter of time before your negative feelings return.

2. You should have been paid what you’re worth without the company being afraid of losing you. The truth is that they did not value you as an employee if they were unwilling to pay you what you were worth. The company offering you a raise as part of their counter offer indicates that they are only thinking about the risks and costs of hiring your replacement in the short term. You’ll be gone once they figure out how to replace you without causing a problem.

3. Counteroffers are always better for the employer. Often, if the timing of your resignation is inconvenient for the boss, they will want to wait until it is more convenient for them to fire you. So, if your company is approaching the holiday season, the busy season, or you are working on a large project, they will want to offer you a promotion, more money, and/or other perks because they do not want to spend the time and money interviewing and hiring your replacement at that time. Once the holidays, busy season, or project is over, the company will have no reason to keep you on.

4. They are simply buying you time while you look for a replacement, whom you will most likely train. Instead of waiting for you to resign again, the company will frequently have you train your replacement. Once your replacement is trained, the company has no reason to keep you on their payroll.

5. The boss may only keep you on to boost company morale and/or to make a good impression on upper management. They may also want to look good for the person or company for whom they are performing the engineering, construction, or environmental work, and having one of their employees quit during the project does not reflect well on the company. They will have no problem firing you once this is no longer an issue.

6. Management will no longer trust you because you have shown disloyalty to the company. Because you are uncommitted to your job, management will pass you up for promotions and you will be the first to be laid off. They will pass you over for long-term assignments and projects because they are unsure you will be available to complete them.

7. Ninety percent of those who accept the counteroffer will be unemployed in a year and a half. Within six months of accepting a counteroffer, the majority of employees quit or are fired.