Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren as Steve is out of town.
You’ve been in your job for a while when a former colleague or recruiter calls to see if you’re interested in something new, something that pays better than your current job. Or maybe you’ve grown bored or frustrated and you’re ready for a new challenge. Either way, you update your resume and start interviewing until the stars align and you get an offer – a good one. Now what?
You schedule time with the boss, still feeling the thrill of victory and the validation of someone else wanting to hire you and at the same time dreading the “I’m leaving” conversation. It usually goes better than you might expect because it’s not the first time or the last time they’ll lose an employee. They’ll work through the details of a transition plan with you and they will probably ask what made you decide to move on. That’s part curiosity, part wanting to know what they might do better, and part wondering if there is a chance to change your mind.
If you’re in that “I’m done, moved on, no looking back state” of mind then it’s just a matter of counting down the days. But what if it’s not quite that simple? What if after you explain what you’re leaving the boss says “what if we could fix that?”?
Ah, now you’re in the soup. They come back a few days later with a counter offer. More money, different challenges, training money, new job title – whatever they think will fix the reason you were leaving. What do you do now? Would you stay if they matched the offer from the new job? Or if it was close? What if it was $10k more?
If you say thanks but no thanks then you can resume the countdown. But what if you accept the counter offer? Now you have to go back to the new employer and say that you’ve changed your mind. That’s never fun because they feel – correctly – that you used them for leverage. But wait, there’s more! What if they raise their offer, the counter-counter offer? Does your head hurt yet?
It’s never as simple as a formula. Take some time to understand what matters to you before you start looking and you’ll find that navigating the offer/counter-offer is less stressful, but still not easy.