Giving Notice and The Counter-Offer

Hi Everyone,

I hope this reaches all of you well.  This post will cover a very sensitive & stressful issue. “Giving notice and the counter-offer”.

Giving notice is a very difficult thing to do. It’s a loss regardless of whether you are leaving on good terms or not. I speak to many people every day & I am asked how do I give notice to my employer & maintain a good relationship with them & even get a positive reference if they are called. My answer every time, is be 100% direct, respectful, & to the point.

Times are getting better. You found a new job & are looking forward to the next step in your career. You received more money, more room for growth, more flexibility, or a better overall position that fits what you need. It is now time to tell your manager that your time with your current firm is over. My suggestion is to first, write a resignation letter, but not to send it. It is easier when you give it to the manager personally. It goes a long way. The resignation letter should state that you are giving your notice (which should be 2 weeks) & though you appreciate your time with the company, it is now time for you to move on. The letter should be short, direct, & professional, as it will be put into your employee file (think future reference)

The time has come. You are now in a meeting with your manager in which you need to share the news…First, get to the point. Let them know that you’ve decided to make a move to a new opportunity. Let them know that you appreciate everything that they’ve done for you, all of the experience you gained at the company, & that you will miss being part of the “team” Also, make sure that you tell your manager that you are happy to give 2 weeks of notice & will be at the forefront of knowledge transfer in order to make sure it is a smooth transition. Also, let them know that you are starting a new position in 2 weeks & it will be a great growth opportunity for you. Don’t answer the question “What can I do to make you stay” It leads to many things that do not benefit you at all. Make sure that in this meeting, there is nothing negative thrown around, as you will need your manager for a reference in the future. As you leave the meeting, again, reiterate to your manager that you appreciate everything they have done for you, & even after the 2 weeks are up, you will be available within reason, for anything that they need help with.

After the initial shock wears off, management at your current employer may realize that it will be very difficult to replace you. It is also common for someone who gave notice to “romanticize” their current job. The thought “This place isn’t really so bad” & the fear of making a change to an unknown environment is very common. That’s where the counter offer comes from. Your current employer may or may not do this, but be prepared in case they do. They will make you an offer of considerably more salary, more flexibility (work from home 2-3 days a week), more responsibility, & so forth. Pretty much anything that they can do to make you stay, even for a short time. This is when you need to remember “What are my reasons for leaving in the first place?” Why are they offering me this now & why did it take me giving notice for them to notice me? How long will this stay?

I can’t say for certain everyone, but a vast majority of job seekers who accept counter offers are no longer employed by their employer within 6 months of accepting a counter offer. I have seen counter offers pulled away after 2-3 weeks or after 2-4 months, but eventually the job seeker or the employer will cut ties. Once the job seeker gives notice, they are labeled by upper management as “disloyal”. If any budget cuts happen in the future, you’ll be on the block sooner than others. Also, when you accept a counter offer, it rarely gives you the solution to the reason you were looking in the first place. Those things will usually creep up again.

In conculsion, it is not an easy choice to leave your current employer & move on to a new job at a new firm. If you have decided that it is time for you to do that, & you accept an offer, stay with it. If you are not that interested in the new position, then stay at your old one & wait for something that is a better fit. Once you make the difficult decision to accept a new job, stick to it. You’ll find yourself happier at the end of the day with much fewer regrets.

I hope this helps & good luck in your job searches. As always, feel free to contact me any time with questions, comments, or any help I can offer.

Alex Dubovoy