The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Definitive Guide to Job Hunting – How to deal with Counter offers

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An interesting case study from the Guardian Careers “ask the Experts” webcast:


“I’ve been looking for a new job for ages and I’ve just managed to get one I was really happy with. What’s the problem then? Well my boss has now offered me a load more cash to stay! The agency says I should take the new job but I guess they just want the fee (cynical). Nice problem to have but I honestly don’t know which way to turn….Help!”

My answer

When the market is tight, companies try to hang on to their best staff!

Congrats on getting the job offer, and well done on being a valued employee because your boss obviously doesn’t want to lose you.

I would suggest you go back to the start and consider why you were looking for a new job in the first place.

If your issue was purely financially motived, then you have your answer: Stay where you are.

However, money is rarely the prime motivator for people moving jobs. In fact, I have known people take pay cuts to achieve the work/life balance they want, or to get a job closer to home.

If your reason for job hunting was anything other than money, then don’t accept the counter offer because nothing else will change and in due course, you will be looking again. Except that the offer on the table now will have gone away.

Of course the agency wants the fee: They did good work to get you the offer in the first place, and I bet they feel that their trust has been a bit abused. But realistically, they will be able to find a replacement if you don’t accept. You have to make the decision that is right for you, but be willing to deal with the consequences.


Written by Cathy Richardson

September 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

Posted in Recruitment

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