Encountering a Counteroffer

You receive a great new job offer, and when you tell your current employer, they come back with a counteroffer. They value what you do, and do not want to lose you. This is a great situation to be in – you have an exciting new opportunity at your fingertips as well as a chance to negotiate in your current position. So, what should you do? When do you accept the new job offer, and when do you negotiate in your current role?


Should You Accept a Counteroffer?

Here are five tips to help you decide the best route for you:

  1. Think about why you decided to apply for the new job in the first place. Have you mastered your current work and are no longer feeling challenged? Is the new job a step up in your career? Most of the time, if salary is not what is driving you to apply, you should consider taking the new position. The counteroffer may look good on paper, but a new job could offer you a lot more opportunity than you can gain in your current role.
  2. The new offer will give you an opportunity to negotiate for exactly what you want. You now have the upper hand in your current position, which sounds great, but at the same time you do not want to upset your current employer by asking for too much. They may see this as greedy, and in the Tech Transfer world you want to have as many connections as possible. It is better to accept the new position rather than create a hostile situation with your current manager. You may need them as a reference again someday, and a bad negotiation is not the last interaction you want to have with them.
  3. Your current employer might say certain things to make you stay, but because you often have to make a quick decision with new job offers, everything they propose might not actually happen. Be weary unless you get everything in writing before turning down the new job. With a new role, this step is done before you even start, so you know exactly what to expect.
  4. You have a lot to offer, and it should not take you getting a new job for your employer to see this. If you are not feeing valued in your current role, it is time to move on, unless the counteroffer truly improves your wellbeing in the workplace.
  5. The Tech Transfer field is always evolving, and you should be as well. A new job comes with new opportunity; you do not want to limit yourself by staying in a role that will not offer you more responsibility and a chance to improve and enhance your skills.

Take all these points into account before accepting a counteroffer from your current employer. If you do choose to stay in your current role, make sure the counteroffer meets all of your professional goals. Do you want more responsibility? A new job title? A better company culture? More money? If what you want cannot be accomplished in your current role, then accepting the counteroffer from your current employer may not be the best route. Some things, like company culture, will rarely change. If that is what you are hoping for, it is best to move on to the new job or you will continue to be disappointed in your current role, no matter how much more they offer you monetarily. New jobs come with new challenges, but they may also be exactly the change you need professionally and personally.

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