Author Topic: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?  (Read 8675 times)

Buttercup

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My current job has it positives and negatives, but I love the work. I started looking for new jobs a couple months ago because I was frustrated by some managerial changes that were occurring (more on that later) and some other small complaints that I had been reiterating multiple times with no change. I applied to a job where I would be working at a new company, in a new job description, but that interacts with my current work group and I just received the formal offer.

The thing is though that I really love my current company. They are very flexible with allowing employees to work on many different projects and I think I am standing out to them as a leader and an innovator. I don't know if I necessarily want to leave my company because the flexibility really helps me from getting bored and feeling like a robot. My immediate work group is also amazing. We all get along very well and we have a great team atmosphere.

Some drawbacks to my current company:
1. I don't have a computer - I've worked at the company for 1.5 years and I still don't have a computer of my own. We have common computers in my work group, but we are all supposed to have desks and computers of our own as well. I have a desk at our corporate office, but no computer. I have asked repeatedly for one and the answer always is "okay I will work on that"
2. Contract almost over - I work on a gov't contract and it ends in the fall. We cannot re-compete as the prime contractor, so we are subbing for another company. Even if we win my work group may have to start working for the new company. I do not want to do that.
3. Salary - When I got my first "raise" this year I was very disappointed. I am one of the higher performers in my work group, so I had expected a larger raise. I talked to my manager about it and come to find out that the measly amount they gave was actually very high by the companies standards even though it was barely a cost of living increase. My manager said he would try to work on it, but he didn't think there was anything he could do about it.
4. "Managerial" issues - My work group get a new "lead". The leads are pretty much supposed to be like everyone else in the work group, performing the same work, but with a little more documentation. The new lead came into our group 7 months ago and she still doesn't know wth we do. We try to train her, but she just does not understand (multiple people, multiple paths of explanation). She also doesn't really seem like she wants to learn and she is "delegating" all of her work on to us to the point where we don't even know what she is doing all day long. She is also very hostile. Whenever you ask her a question she gets automatically very defensive and will send nasty emails to our entire work group and our managers about things that we "did wrong" that we didn't even do. We have talked to our managers about this situation with her and how she is creating a hostile work environment, but they just seem to be backpedaling and trying to justify hiring her. She has been getting a little better recently and being more of a team player, so that is good, but it was getting really bad for a while and she was one of the main reasons I started looking for new jobs.

Drawbacks of the new job:
1. Not as flexible - I would be working in the one position and would not get a lot of chance to branch out and try new things like at my current company
2. No company culture - instead of being part of a company you are more ingrained in the gov't agency culture. This could be good, but would be a lot different than current company.
3. Stay for 5+ years - I think I would need to stay at this new job for at least 5 years, so it doesn't look like I just hop around all the time, but this would be pretty difficult for me because I seem to get bored after about 1-1.5 years.
4. Unsure if I would really love the work as much as my current job. They are similar, but the things that I  love the most about my current job are not included in the new position.

The benefits are pretty similar at both companies, but the new company would contribute $500 towards an HSA and covers more life insurance (double salary as opposed to $50,000). I still have a lot of student loans to pay off (I'm working on knocking them out hard though!) and my mom is the cosigner, so I don't want to leave her holding the tab if I kick the bucket. Vacation and holidays are the same, but I would be starting my counter for getting an increase in annual leave over again.

Current salary: $75,000 gross
New salary: $88,500 gross


I am only 26, but I want to be able to stay home with my kids when that time comes. It is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, so the extra money would help a lot to pay off my student loans and get to FIRE.

I am wondering if I should accept this new job offer or if I should tell my current company about it and see if they counteroffer. I have heard some bad things about counteroffers (lesson: never read the internet unless it is a mustachian), so I don't know if accepting a counter from my current company would change anything (such as making them think I am not loyal and I'm just about the money, etc). Help please!

frugaliknowit

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 10:12:06 AM »
Do not solicit a counteroffer.  It is bad business.  If they do make a counter, and you accept, they will likely can you as soon as they make a cutback.  As for the rest, you have to weight the pros and cons.  Everything is a risk.  That is a nice bump!

You could try a different approach.  Not letting your boss specifically know you have an offer, have a sit-down (again with your manager) and have a more "hard -lined" discussion about your compensation versus the current market siting hard numbers  "Gee Jim, the market is telling me $88.5...?"  See what kind of reaction you get.  See if you can get them to move fast.  This is a way to leverage the offer you have in hand without directly soliciting a counter-offer.  If he is totally negative, then you know for sure they are not going to pay you market.

Buttercup

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 10:28:51 AM »
I also forgot to mention that my current employer knows that I applied this new job and got to the interview phase. This is mainly due to the fact that the new job is a position that works with my current job. So people talk and it got out that I was looking into it. My current company does not know that I received the offer though.

mm1970

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 10:28:58 AM »
This is a toughie.  My experience with counter offers (note: I've never actually gotten one, this is based on friends and coworkers)...

If you are truly useful to your company, and they counter, they are unlikely to hold it against you.  It's nothing personal (it took me YEARS to realize this): it's business.  The company's job is to get the best people for the least amount of money (well, depends on the company), your job is to look after yourself.  This became more and more clear to me over the years.  I am 44, and most recently we've hired about 4 senior engineers who all make a LOT more than I do.  Because they come in at market rate, and I am stuck near where I started 6 years ago.  I cannot seem to get a raise because "well, you have stock!"

If you are not useful, they will tell you to pound sand.  I've worked with people who have interviewed elsewhere solely to get a counter, and they were rudely awakened when none happened.

I tend to stay places, so if ever I bother to interview somewhere else - it usually means I am DONE, so a counter offer would be too little too late.

That said, I'd take the offer.  You don't really KNOW if the new job is flexible wrt to work until you get there.  That's a great salary at your age.  Heck, it's a great one at my age. 
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 10:30:43 AM by mm1970 »

frugaliknowit

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 11:14:32 AM »
In the future, do NOT let anyone at work know you are looking at other opportunities.  It is NEVER to your advantage to do so and could jeopardize the continuity of your income stream.  You never know how your employer will respond.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 11:32:05 AM »

Based on what I've read,  I'd take the new position.  Biggest reason being that you mention the contact will soon expire which will mean changes for you in the fall, this is the very near future to me.  The bump in salary is also significant.  The only other thing I wonder is how employable are you?  Are there other jobs you can apply for that you would want if this new company really doesn't turn out?   If you feel you could get another job easily then go for it.  Then if it doesn't work out you have options, if it does work out then you've made the right move.

Goldielocks

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 11:33:57 AM »
Normally, I hate employees that try to get counter offer game going, and immediately note them as not being the right fit for my company. They show little value for the difficulty of business, or concern for the team.

The exceptions-is if your job was negotiation like a buyer, or hard sales, like a cola rep.... Lol..

OR if your job sounds like a temp contract now?  (Employers consider temp contract work fully open on both sides)

My suggestion is to sit down and explain that you went looking for another job, but realized in the process how much you love it at you current company.  Say that there are a few things really bothering you, like no PC, the new lead is horrible,  and the pay is a bit lower than market. You are worried this means that their is no long term future with the group, even if your work is high quality.

Ask if there is any way for you to get the PC asap, and be trained for a lead position over the next year.  State you understand the realities of your employer's business, so want to be able to add as much value as possible, and earn more money with them at the same time.

You money situation is best served by moving up in your current company.  The other offer is over paying to get you, and you salary will be redlined with minimal increases until the market rate catches up.  Meanwhile, if you are not well above average in performance, your new company position with slightly higher than market pay will be reviewed for cuts every 2 yrs or so. Your name will need to be continually justified by your supervisor why you are not the one to be let go.  Eventually your supervisor gets changed, or tired, or even goes on a 1 month vacation, and others who don't know you give your name to HR when business declines.

Goldielocks

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 11:39:38 AM »
That is, if your market rate is say, 82k...

If it is really 90k, then my last paragraph does not apply!

uranor

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 08:36:58 PM »
From where I stand it looks an easy decision:
- government contract ending
- bad managerial decisions and hiring practices
- salary not up to market
= No apparent reason to stay put
A counter offer is unlikely to fix all of these issues, plus it will probably come with some baggage.

Take the other offer, stay 2 years at new company, move on. This is how it works in corporate jobs these days. Unless you have strong reasons to stay put, there is no incentive for loyalty. It is neither expected nor rewarded.
Have you noticed that they call us "resources"? this is to emphasize interchangeability, like machinery. How about Persons? Humans? Even worker is preferable (but being branded as "socialist" wording it probably doesn't go well with the corporate  style). Employee? That sounds "newspeak" to me. If you are on this blog, odds are you are thinking FIRE; so why passing up the opportunity to finish earlier?
My two cents..


clifp

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2014, 12:00:37 AM »
I think fact that your current company knows you've been looking really limits your options.  If you are looking for a counter offer, start with giving your existing company more than 2 weeks, like 3 or 4 weeks.  Not more than that, that shows some loyalty. I agree with MM1970, a single counteroffer is not really going to be held against you. However,  I do remember one guy trying to get 3 counter offers in about 4 years, when he tried it the 3rd time, they escorted him it out the building that day, and marked him barred for re-employment.   So realistically this is the last time you can do the "go out find a new job and get raise at your old job" for at least 5 years and maybe forever.
 
A 18% pay increase in this economy is a pretty hefty one.  If you repeated your raise from this year  how many years before you got to $88.5K?

As for how long you need to stay at this job.  I certainly wouldn't go in with the attitude that you need to stay there forever, nor with the attitude that you can leave after 2 years.   I've been out of the job market and don't even know your field to give any useful advice.    But in general, when I was a hiring manager  I wasn't happy to see less than 2 years on a resume unless there was evidence of some 2-5 year stints also.  So I'd do some research if you know somebody in HR or a headhunter get a feeling for was is considered job hoping now days for your field.

If you do get a counter offer which address some of your issues and is close to the new salary it sounds like you'd prefer the old company so I by all means accept it.

Finally there is a 3rd option keep looking to find a better fit.

Exflyboy

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 08:00:27 AM »
In my last job where I was the manager of a group of junior engineers.

Well Every year the rate for graduates would go up and we'd pay more and more for the new folks (with zero experience).. but the folks who'd been lere for just a few years were falling behind by a significant margin.

At 4 years out of college some of these guys were really good.. but often paid 12 to 15% BELOW the greenhorn graduates.

So we were paying a lot more money for folks that were basically useless for a couple of years.. Stupid situation.

You dear employee have only one option if you want to make good money in this game.. simply up and move every couple of years.

Sad to say but in my 30 years of experience loyalty counts for very little these days.

Frank


Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 08:26:35 AM »
If you really like your current job you should give them the opportunity to match the offer.  HOWEVER, don't phrase it that way.

Have a conversation with your manager where you lay out a justification for a raise and whatever else you want.  Let them know this is important for you, and that you like the company and want to stick around for a long time.  Don't mention that you have another offer, or even talk about that you've been looking.

If they match it, then great.  If not, take the better offer.  I don't like the dynamics of threatening to leave for more money.  That threatening behavior will come back to bite you in the end.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 08:37:25 AM »
Good for you about being proactive in the face of an anticipated layoff!

I'm in the camp where you should give your notice in enough time to contemplate their counter-offer. IMO, you don't need to solicit the counter-offer, but if you explain to your boss that you were looking for a new job because your contract is ending and you wanted more stability, then if your boss wants to keep you, s/he will make a counter-offer happen. Just communicate that it's not about the company but the salary and stability.

I do think the reception you get from your boss about leveraging a counter-offer is company-specific. My husband recently told his job that he can't make it work on his current salary (his 4-person office needs to move, and they were taking his commute into consideration -- he wanted them to know that he probably wouldn't be there long, so not to make a decision based on his commute). His boss responded by saying that he's going to see what he can do to be able to keep him. Not the response my husband was looking for, but it's a response that some companies may give. Then again, he works for a non-profit that knows they don't pay the top of the range, so that probably has something to do with that.

Congratulations on the job offer!

Buttercup

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2014, 09:17:50 AM »
Thanks so much everyone for the advice! This has been extremely helpful even though it has given me a lot more to think about.

For everyone who has been interested in my career field, I am an aerospace engineer. The salary I have currently seems to be at the low end of the market rate for someone with my experience level, so the new salary is at a much more average rate to answer goldielocks questions.

Clifp - if I were to continue at my current company with the same raise expectations it would take me about 5-6 years to reach the salary of the new position. And note that I received a rather high raise this year and to get much higher you have to bring significant new business to the company.

MM1970 - I think your point about not knowing if the job has much project flexibility is very true. I do recall at my interview the group said they are trying to cross-train everyone on the team in their positions. They really only have one person for each role so they really need everyone to have versatile skill-sets for when people take vacation, leave the team, etc. Thanks for making me remember this!

frigaliknowit - I know I should not have told my current company I was looking for new positions! But I knew it would get to them eventually, and before I had the chance to tell them myself after receiving an offer. It has definitely made negotiating with them a lot more tricky since they might know I have an offer even if I do not say I do. I make sure this does not happen next time (if there is one)!

The Fake Cheap & uranor - The contract ending was a big reason for me looking for other jobs. The company we teamed up with for the re-bid looks terrible and I do not want to be forced to work for them if we win the new contract. That said, I wanted to make one of my negotiating points that my current company keep me on after the current contract ends and find a place to put me. For me that would be more important than asking for more of a raise with my current company. It depends on how much they value me though I guess.

Frank - Thanks for the very real look into the world of hiring managers for engineers. I believe from my experience that this is still very much the case, if not more. I don't want to be caught in being underpaid just because I am loyal. I guess loyalty does get you nothing sometimes.

Mr. Frugalwoods - I definitely so not want to use my new offer as a threat to my current employer. I would like to find a way to avoid talking about it. It will just be very difficult since they already know I have been looking. But I have a quarterly review coming up this week, so that should be the perfect place for they discussion!

Rebecca - Thanks for the advice! I would love to give them more than 2 weeks notice. Preferably 4 weeks or more. This is especially important because I need to get my current work completed or it will effect my new position poorly. It is very strange that the two positions are so intertwined.

Thanks again everyone for the wonderful advice!

vivian

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 11:55:04 AM »
I've been in a similar position before, working for a government contractor and liking my specific work group but having problems with the higher management. I had a performance review where my supervisor recommended a promotion since I was already doing the work of the higher position and HR said I wasn't qualified for the higher position. They also said they gave me a very generous raise, couldn't support any higher raise, and the market didn't support the salary I thought I should get. I went looking to see what else was out there and had two interviews within the week and a job offer very soon for the equivalent of the higher position and appropriate salary. Since I liked my work group, I told them the specifics of my offer and my company ended up offering me the promotion and a higher salary. They didn't quite match the salary at the other company, but came much closer. I ended up staying because of my immediate work group.

I would definitely tell your current job about the offer. What's the worst they will do, fire you? If that's the case, you have another job already lined up.

Calvawt

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 01:19:37 PM »
As a CFO, I have seen many people attempt this.  Generally, the only ones that get counter offers from their current company are the ones that are deemed to be extremely valuable.  Someone generally has to champion your cause for you to get that offer.  That being said, I have tried to make counter offers and most of them are already out the door. 

You can really only try this maneuver once at a company; people remember that you have done it.  It is sort of noted that long-term you probably won't stay once you have tried this, so be sure to factor that in.  HR won't tell you that, but I have seen it a few times.

Good luck with whatever you decide.  Remember the company and its people can change, and only you can make the decision that is best for you.

Goldielocks

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 06:51:05 PM »
Thanks so much everyone for the advice! This has been extremely helpful even though it has given me a lot more to think about.

Frank - Thanks for the very real look into the world of hiring managers for engineers. I believe from my experience that this is still very much the case, if not more. I don't want to be caught in being underpaid just because I am loyal. I guess loyalty does get you nothing sometimes.



Good Luck!

Just remember that loyalty may not get you anything sometimes, but the appearance of disloyalty, will get you out the door sooner or later!   It never hurts to show the best face possible to the company that you like.

Always keep your network (outside of work) active, and your skills hot!


Brian Fellows

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2014, 09:48:37 AM »
My experience is brief but telling.  I was working for a goverment contractor as an engineer, and we lost our future contract and only had enough on the books to last another ~3 years, max. 

I went out, found a job offer, then went to tell my boss I was taking the new job offer.  As in, I was giving him my two weeks notice.  He asked me to wait a day and he'd try to see if he could make me an offer to stay around.

The next day he gave me an effective immediately 20-something percent raise.  So yeah, that bought my allegiance for another few years (and also priced me right out of the market). 

The important things to note though are that 1. I was clearly more valuable in very measurable ways than nearly all of my coworkers, to the point where even though they were my seniors, they still acted as my direct reports on a regular basis, and 2. I didn't solicit a counteroffer, I straight up was ready to leave.

So since it sounds like your new job offer is better in almost every way than your current job, except for some unknowns (DON'T FEAR THE UNKNOWN), I would suggest you take the new job, but before you officially accept it, tell your current manager that you're going to leave for this new opportunity and maybe they will come back with a counter.  If not, you tried your best and it's time to accept that new position.

Timmmy

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2014, 10:25:25 AM »
Take the new job. 

If you have to be ready to walk out the door to get market pay, you are working for the wrong company. 

BlueHouse

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2014, 01:19:07 PM »
Take the new job.
You've already given your company notice by telling them you were interviewing.  They did nothing. 
Don't be afraid to job-hop.  It's the only way to make your salary grow in the current market conditions.
In a few years, maybe you'll have enough FU money to walk away from a good job and get hired back as an independent contractor on YOUR terms.
Good luck. 

ch12

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Re: New job offer - give my current company a chance to counteroffer?
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2014, 08:09:45 PM »
Take the new job.
You've already given your company notice by telling them you were interviewing.  They did nothing. 
Don't be afraid to job-hop.  It's the only way to make your salary grow in the current market conditions.
In a few years, maybe you'll have enough FU money to walk away from a good job and get hired back as an independent contractor on YOUR terms.
Good luck.

+1

New things. New challenges.

Not having a computer seems very strange, as well as other practices at your current company. Jump ship without burning bridges. Do not let them counter.