Why you shouldn’t accept a counter offer

You’ve just accepted an offer from another company and you’re excited to start a new journey. You hand in your resignation with the hopes that your manager will understand and suddenly, you’ve been hit with a counter offer of a salary that is hard to refuse. However, before you make any rash decisions, there are a few things that you should first consider:

Your counter-offer might just be for cost-saving purposes

Although it seems innocent enough for your manager to want to keep you on because you’re ‘an asset to the company’, they also have business agendas to think about. From an employer’s perspective, it makes perfect sense to give you a counter offer because it would save the company a lot of money. Adding a few thousand HKD to your monthly salary isn’t a huge financial burden compared to the costs of starting the recruitment process, admin work, as well as training costs and manpower in finding your replacement.

It won’t fix the issues that made you want to leave your job

Why did you want to leave your current employer in the first place? Chances are, there was more than one reason other than monetary satisfaction. It could be for company culture reasons, poor leadership, little to no career progression etc. If there was more than one factor in making you decide to make that switch to a new employer, then staying for a higher pay rise isn’t going to resolve these problems. 70-80% of employees end up leaving their company within 6 months after accepting a counteroffer.

Your relationship with your current employer won’t be the same

If you choose to stay, the relationship with your current manager/employer will forever be slightly tainted. For one thing, they are now aware that you were unhappy enough to go through an entire job search process to find a different job. After knowing this, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, your employer will continuously question your loyalty. This could lead to being overlooked for future promotions/projects or being targeted when the company needs to make cutbacks.

It will burn a bridge with the potential employer

You were hired by your potential employer because they know your value as an employee. They have decided to hire you, likely stopped searching for another person to fill the role, closed job ads, announced that you’re on board… If you pull out at the last minute, you will be deemed as unreliable. You can say goodbye to any future opportunities at that company. Not only that, but it’s a small world in Hong Kong - you’d have to hope that word doesn’t get around in the industry. 

Know your worth as an employee

Remember what prompted you to start looking for another job. If you were valued as an employee beforehand, your manager would have made sure they had taken the necessary actions to keep you happy within the company. It shouldn’t have taken a resignation for your company to suddenly realize that you are worth keeping.


It’s important to note, that whilst we are writing about all the reasons not to accept a counteroffer, we think there are some exceptions to these rules. If you choose to stay at your current company, taking that counter offer, make sure you have a deep understanding of your position and relationships. Ensure it is the best option for you not just monetarily, but also in terms of career development and satisfaction.




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