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How To Reject A Counter Offer

Once you've made the decision to accept that new job you've worked hard for, you might find yourself suddenly struck with a severe case of FOMO.

Fear of Missing Out on something better, more exciting or more valuable to your career can leave you transfixed in a dilemma situation of whether the grass really is greener on the other side. What if that big promotion is just around the corner? What if you could earn more if you stayed?

Assuming you've been great at your job, your company will not want to lose you. So, a counter offer might be made to tempt you into staying.

If your mind is already made, acknowledging but politely declining a counter offer is the best way. You'll need to do so in a way that says, 'I'm flattered', but 'my decision is final'.

What did they offer?

More Money

A bigger salary or extra bonuses may make you happy in the short term, but accepting a counter offer for a pay rise may simply appear to your employer that you were attempting to use your resignation for financial gain. Our studies show that 89% of those that accept a counter offer, leave the company within 12 months anyway. Money cannot buy you career satisfaction.

Tell your employer that whilst you appreciate that they feel you are of value to the business; your focus is on job satisfaction and career progression rather than money.

A Better Job Title

If you were really in-line for a promotion, or about to be given control over a large project, why did they wait until you resigned, to offer you what you're really worth to them?

A new title or extra responsibilities will not always cut it when you were unhappy enough to find something new just last week.

Tell your employer that you're delighted they would consider you for this increased responsibility, though you're looking for an overall more pleasing package.

A More Flexible Working Arrangement

Working from home, more flexible shifts or the ability to work flexitime are all common counter offer perks. Whilst these sound appealing, they're often nothing to do with the reason you were leaving in the first place.

Tell your employer that you appreciate their eagerness to ensure you are happy, though you're ready to progress within a role that offers you more for your future.

An Emotional Plea

If you're on great terms with your employer, don't be surprised to receive a tug on the old heart strings. 'Things will improve', 'Please give it another go', 'We can't cope without you'...

This is your employer's way of coercing you to stay for the benefit of the company... not for yourself.

Explain firmly your reasons for leaving and that you will assist with a full professional handover to ensure the process is smooth. This should address any issues they may have with lack of resource, skills within the team or projects that might be left incomplete on your departure.


As tempting as it may be, a counter offer is designed to keep you for the benefit of the business. Consider offers very carefully alongside your original reasons for leaving. As they say, money can't buy you happiness. Neither can an extra day's holiday, a desk by the window or adding the word 'Senior' in front of your job title...

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