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Q My boss is not happy about me leaving and has made a counter-offer. What should I do?

Q My boss is not happy about me leaving and has made a counter-offer. What should I do?

With Marianna Tuccia, a senior consultant at Naiman Clarke.A When considering a move most people tend to focus on the challenges of identifying the right opportunity and can forget that finding…

With Marianna Tuccia, a senior consultant at Naiman Clarke.

A When considering a move most people tend to focus on the challenges of identifying the right opportunity and can forget that finding your new job is just part of the process, and that resigning from your current role can prove to be just as much of a challenge. This does not have to be the case if you understand the dynamics of the process and prepare.

The first thing to bear in mind is that counter-offers are actually very common and can be very confusing especially when they are accompanied by the pressure to stay and your reasons for leaving being disputed. Even though you are truly excited about the new role, it is normal to find yourself thinking "maybe things will change if I give it another go".

Research on the topic consistently reveals that people who accept counter-offers subsequently leave their jobs within 6 to 12 months. Naturally, counter-offers are flattering and make you feel valued.

However, the reality may be quite the opposite. Your boss may have other reasons for wanting you to stay such as the fact that replacing you might be an expensive and resource-heavy exercise, or they want you to finish a project you are working on.

Unfortunately, there is seldom a good reason to accept a counter-offer after you have decided to leave.

From the day of your resignation, your loyalty is likely to be in question and this can present obstacles in the future when it comes to promotions.

Think carefully about counter-offers and ask yourself why your reasons for resigning have not been addressed previously and whether they can ever be adequately addressed. Do not let a counter-offer stand in the way of your career goals.

Thank your boss for the experience and the opportunity and re-affirm your intention to resign. If you choose to stay, remember that your resignation will be remembered and you need to work exceedingly hard in order to re-acquire your employer's trust.

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