Is the counter offer all it seems?

A counter offer is often used by employers to try and tempt someone who has just resigned to stay with the company. Handling such offers can be a delicate situation and requires careful consideration.

Examine your initial reasons for wanting to leave; often the reasons people make job changes are for issues other than money. If this is the case, then it is likely you will return to those same issues after the initial glow of more money and feeling appreciated by your current company wears off. On the other hand, if money, or not feeling appreciated was the primary reason for making a change, you might be happy with accepting the counter offer. It is a good idea to list out the pros and cons for each opportunity and discuss these with someone whose opinion you value.

Consider the risks

While there are risks in going into a new position with a new organisation, there are also risks in accepting a counter offer. Depending upon the relationship you have with your management team, and the corporate culture at your present company, accepting a counter offer could change how you are viewed. There is the possibility of being seen as disloyal, and if the outside offer came at a very crucial time — say, when losing you would have been disastrous to a vital project or the bottom line — you may cause some animosity if the employer feels there is no choice but to counter offer to keep you on board. These feelings could pass in time, but it is also possible for you to be targeted for replacement, or passed over for promotion, important projects etc. at a time when it is more convenient for your current employer. This scenario assumes that you have not yet accepted the offer from the new employer, and your current employer, learning of your potential departure, makes you a counter offer. If, however, you have already accepted an offer from the new employer, it would be considered somewhat unethical to withdraw your acceptance based upon a counter offer from your current employer.

So what now?

You still have to do what is right for you. In the end, after weighing all the factors and discussing them with family members, close friends or a mentor, you will need to make a decision. Ultimately, you need to do what is in your best short- and long-term interests. And usually, what is appropriate for one party is appropriate for both parties concerned — even if not always apparent at first.

Salary negotiation? When to call it quits

It’s tempting to let out a sigh of relief or a shout of joy on receiving a job offer. You probably feel like you have crossed the finish line of a very long race. However it’s important to realise there’s still more work to be done.

Rather than accepting immediately, it’s beneficial to take a day to understand what has been presented. This will give you time to weigh up your options, including your potential salary and benefits package. Once prepared, you will then have the chance to negotiate what has been offered to you — this can be intimidating, but it’s absolutely essential to the hiring process.

However, while salary negotiation is necessary prior to accepting any potential job offer, you must know when to stop negotiating and either accept or deny an offer completely.

What are you negotiating?

Before and during your discussions, you need to continually refer back to your initial reasoning for wanting to negotiate. While negotiation is beneficial to success on your career path, don’t just do it because you feel it’s expected of you. Do your research and gain as much knowledge as possible about the salary ranges for this position in your industry sector. This will allow you completely understand what you are negotiating for. Was the offer just slightly out of your range or way off? No one is going to accept an unreasonable offer.

Bear in mind these negotiations don’t have to be limited solely to money. Many individuals choose to negotiate other benefits that are important to them – it may be the opportunity to work from home once a week, extra holidays or a car allowance rather than an actual car. Whatever it might be, your discussion should be based on research, not on simply demanding the salary you think you deserve.

When should you accept?

Accepting an offer is easy if you have clearly defined your needs to a potential employer. There isn’t a sounding bell for the perfect timing to stop negotiating and accept an offer, but you will feel more confident when you’ve taken the necessary time to prepare, consider, and ask for what you want.

The package might be great, but it’s your job to tie up any loose ends before finalising the deal. Make a final assessment of the position by taking a deeper look into the job content, the company culture, as well your needs. Your acceptance of the offer should ultimately be based on your judgement of all factors.

When do you need to reject an offer?

During your salary negotiation, it’s important to completely understand why and what you are looking for based on research and your needs. Even if you’ve done your homework and conducted an appropriate negotiation, an employer doesn’t have to change their offer.

Your decision to decline should come when your needs aren’t being met. Be sure to do this promptly, confidently, and respectfully. There is no reason to burn a bridge with this employer.

The thought of rejecting an offer might be hard to swallow. After all the hard work and a potentially long hiring process, no one wants to start again. But there’s no reason to accept an offer for a position you’re less than thrilled about, or one that’s below par.

Your decision should be based on your confidence that your needs are being met. Never settle for less.

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