TIME TO MOVE ON
The days of the thirty-year gold watch are gone. Experience at several companies is an asset you bring to a new job. Today, changing jobs is an essential part of a professional career.
Consideration of a change is usually because one’s present position does not offer the growth environment that is necessary for advancement. It is to be hoped that one’s present company has helped you progress professionally and, as a result, you may feel uncomfortable resigning. You will be leaving managers and co-workers, some of whom you may see socially and have been instrumental in advancing your career.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU TENDER YOUR RESIGNATION ?
Your company will be sorry to lose you. You have contributed to their sales and profits. Probably you are involved in projects that require unique talents. Put yourself in your boss’s position. What would you do ?
THE COUNTER OFFER
It is natural to resist change and disruption. Your boss will be no exception. He will want to keep you and will attempt to do so with a counter offer. In his eyes, your acceptance of a new job is definitely a mistake. In truth an acceptance of a counter offer is usually the biggest mistake you can make. The better the devil you know attitude will not work past the “honeymoon” period.
COUNTER OFFERS HAVE MANY VARIATIONS
- “I guess it’s my fault for not telling you, but we have some plans for you which we intended to implement next month”
- “This is strictly confidential information. We have some re-organisation developing which will mean a significant promotion for you within six months”
- “We will match or better your new offer. The raise was supposed to go into effect the first of the next quarter anyway, but because of your fine record, we will start it on the first of the month”
- The CHAIRMAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE and FINANCE DIRECTOR want to have dinner with you before you make your final decision”
THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE COUNTER OFFER Of course it is flattering.
Your emotions can obscure the objectiveness used when you make the decision to leave your present employer. It is natural to have a “buyer’s remorse” – that vague apprehension of change that urges you to reconsider. Ask yourself these questions:
- I made the decision to leave because I felt that the new position offered the sort of environment that would better fill my career needs. If I stay, will the situation here really improve just because I said I was quitting ? (99 time outs of 100 the answer is NO)
- If I stay, will my loyalty be suspect and affect my chance for advancement in the future ? (almost certainly the answer is YES)
- They are offering me a rise to stay. Could it be my annual review coming early ?
- The raise they’ve offered is above the guidelines for my job. Does this mean they are “buying time” until they can find my replacement ?
THE PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE
The professional will make a career decision objectively. It will be free of the emotional pressures one is likely to feel when being urged to reconsider. Advice will be offered by well-meaning friends, relatives and business associates. Depend primarily upon your own judgement because only you are in the position to understand the implications of the counter offer. Expect your company to be sorry to lose you and to make some attempt to keep you. At best, their response should be considered flattering but beset with numerous pitfalls you should not risk.
End your relationship in a professional manner – on a good but decisive note. Your new company will be anxious for you to start, so do so as soon as possible. One week’s notice is often adequate; a maximum of two weeks is always sufficient.
The counter offer is nothing more than a belated affirmation of the contributions you have made. Move ahead to your new position with the goal of making yourself as valuable to your new employer as you were to the old.