Maybe you’ve been together for a few years, but things aren’t quite working out. Maybe you can’t figure out what is wrong, exactly. You’ve lost interest and you feel like you’re in a slump. Or maybe you know precisely what’s wrong — they’re controlling and callous, and nothing you do is ever good enough. Then one day you’re sitting at your desk and you suddenly realise,that’s it, I’ve had enough,andby the end of the day you’ve handed in your notice.
Breakups are a difficult yet unavoidable fact of life. After all, change is always scary. Choosing to move on in your career and leaving behind the familiar is unnerving, and it’s only natural to have second thoughts. But like all ‘on-again, off-again relationships, you may want to think twice before you accept a counteroffer. Here are some reasons why.
Consider your happiness
How did you feel when you handed in your resignation? It may not surprise you that statistically, only 12% of people leave their jobs because of money, which means that a staggering 88% leave because the job itself has become unsuitable for some reason or another. Think about what prompted you to look for greener pastures. Will you be happy staying? Will you regret it six months from now? Did your current employer address any issues that you had? A bigger paycheck is always tempting, but it’s like a band-aid –it only covers the wound. It doesn’t heal anything.
Job satisfaction is important
You might be tempted to sacrifice your job satisfaction for a higher salary, and your employer might have promised you better working conditions. However, there is no guarantee that things will change in your favour, or that that change will be fast enough for you to reap its benefits. Money isn’t everything. Choosing to stay when you were already prepared to leave will end up making you feel stagnant and repressed.
They’re on to you
A notice of resignation is basically a public announcement of dissatisfaction. It’s like telling your spouse you want a divorce — you can’t just take it back and expect the relationship to be the same. By now your employer is on to you. They are aware that you’re a flight risk, and they know the only thing keeping you here is the money. The ball is pretty much in their court, and they make take this opportunity to start looking for your replacement.
Decreased job security
If for whatever reason the company needs to downsize, you will most likely be on the top of their list. You’ll be seen as less loyal, less committed, and therefore not worth the continued investment. It’s a question of trust, and if your company feels they can’t trust you to stay, they will likely send you packing at the first opportunity, rather than be caught unawares again. Even if it’s unlikely that they will let you go, you can’t expect to be given promotions and fresh opportunities, as those will most likely go to others who haven’t expressed a desire to leave.
Look to the horizon
Most likely, the reason you left was that you wanted to put something behind you. A counteroffer is best treated as a chance to look back and be sure of your decision. Satisfy your doubts and then move forward with your new company. The temptation to accept a counteroffer is often based on fear of the unknown. A fresh start can be daunting, but it is also full of opportunity. This means new challenges, and a chance to grow personally and professionally. Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone. It may be the cosier option, but it could quickly turn claustrophobic.
But it really depends on you
If you feel that the counteroffer is a genuine approach by your boss to rectify certain issues you may have had, or if you were compelled to leave because your personal circumstances demanded extra remuneration, these would be valid reasons to give your current employer another go. If you’re still unsure, talk it out with someone you trust. Having someone listen to your concerns can help you put things in perspective and clarify your motivations. Even making a list of pros and cons can be a fruitful exercise. When it comes down to it, only you will know what is best for your specific situation.