Author Topic: New job or counter-offer?  (Read 5518 times)

Lifestyle Deflation

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New job or counter-offer?
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:05:11 PM »
I received an offer for a new job, with about a 20-25% pay raise.

I enjoy my current job, but hadn't gotten a pay raise in 2-3 years and didn't expect one this year. Before I accepted the new job, I asked my boss when reviews/raises were and what I could expect and got a non-answer.

So I decided to accept the offer from a new company. When I told my current company that I was putting in my notice, they scrambled and went into motion to try to give me a pay raise to match the new offer. Fairly typical story from what I've read online.

I've also read that it's unwise to accept a counter-offer. However, I have several reasons for wanting to stay.

1. I do enjoy my work and the company, and the money is by far the biggest reason I looked elsewhere.
2. Current company has slightly better benefits
3. Current company is a "big name" in the industry
4. I am in a notoriously mercenary industry, where it's not necessarily a negative to be "all about the money"

The new company is quite small and unknown. I'd never heard of it before interviewing and no one in my current company had either. As a small, private company there is probably less overall turmoil and restructuring risk, and more room for growth. There are also downsides with that model -- less name recognition for getting the NEXT job down the road -- or the company struggling, but I wouldn't anticipate those being huge issues in the near future.

All things being equal money-wise, I would rather stay. Would I be a complete idiot to accept a counter-offer if the money is a wash? Is it a huge no-no to rescind a signed offer letter? Anyone been through this before?

frugaliknowit

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 02:12:42 PM »
I wouldn't accept the counter.  You will be first on the layoff list and will be deemed "not loyal".  Besides, why should you have to force a raise?

Part of the reason they are doing this is to counter training costs.  If you leave, they need to train someone.

hybrid

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 02:22:53 PM »
If you get the warm fuzzy about the new smaller company, then leave. Small companies tend to be nimble and flexible.

I'm not big on staying for the counter-offer. I don't think you or your current employer are going to be in a good spot should you accept it. You'll always know they only offered as a last resort, and they'll always know you were a raise away from bolting out the door.

eil

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 03:08:46 PM »
Never accept a counter-offer. Contemplating whether to stay or leave has passed and you've agreed to work for someone else, so now it's time to follow through.  Don't burn your bridges because if things don't work out at the new place, the current place may take you back.

Working for a smaller company tends to carry more risk and more responsibility. But if they are in a position to grow substantially, the rewards are much greater as well.

By the way, you didn't actually tell your current manager how much you'll be making at the new job, did you?

iamadummy

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 03:13:04 PM »
skip that counter offer.

Numbers Man

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 04:18:14 PM »
Don't accept the counter offer. Why would you want to reward an employer that treats you like shit (not giving any raises)?

pzxc

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 05:10:11 PM »
Choice A:  Go to work for somebody who is offering you market price for your labor, and probably will have additional promotion/raise opportunities in the future

Choice B:  Remain at a place that only gave you this counteroffer because they were about to lose you, and expect the same treatment (no raises for multiple years) going forward?

Easy choice if you ask me.  I don't even have to tell you what it is because it's obvious.

Terrestrial

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 05:18:57 PM »
I don't think it's necessarily bad to accept a counter offer.  I probably wouldn't in your case because of how you described it, but I can see circumstances where I would accept one if i loved the company/job...speaking as a manager, companies don't always not give raises because they are cheap/stingy/evil...sometimes they just literally can't for a while, especially clawing their way out of this depth of a recession.  Who knows how deep they had to dig to come up with that counter because maybe they think he's a great employee and worth it to retain him.  Then again maybe they are cheap, who knows...if its publicly traded or you have access to the financials and can see they are making record profits, they probably do suck and it's time to move on.  Just pointing out...it's not always cut and dry.

BUT the bigger deal to me in this case...I wouldn't go back on a signed offer letter, that's a big faux-pas in my book.  When you signed it you made a commitment, and consequently they probably informed their other candidates that the job was filled....not cool to back out now.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 05:29:26 PM by Terrestrial »

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2014, 05:54:57 PM »
I've been on both sides of the 'hiring desk' at a/the major PC-centric software company.  Counter-offers happen - it's just a fact of business life.  If the managers are countering, it's because they truly want you to stay in your current gig.  Having candidates back out of a signed offer has a similar story - it happens.  You won't burn your IT/high-tech bridges, or get a black-mark on your resume that would follow you until the end-of-time if you renege.  It's strictly business, and the new-company will have to suck it up. 
If you accept the counter, tell the new company you got a counter offer from your current company, and you don't feel you can refuse.
If you accept the new offer, be sure to work hard to smooth the transition at the current company for a new person to take over your duties, and leave on good terms.

It tends to be a small world IT-wise - you see the same people rotate in and out of companies, but have principles, tell the truth, and you'll be okay no matter which decision you make. 

Undecided

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2014, 07:01:33 PM »
Because of

3. Current company is a "big name" in the industry; and
4. I am in a notoriously mercenary industry, where it's not necessarily a negative to be "all about the money"

I think that if you're optimistic about the hiring market in your industry over the next few years, and you genuinely prefer to stay where you are, do it.

Exflyboy

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2014, 08:21:48 PM »
Maybe because I am old and cynical (and yes FIRED) I tend to be a lot more mercenary these days.

I'd tell the new company you have a very good counter offer and see if they bump up the offer a bit more..:)

Then again I would have never accepted a counter when I needed a job..

Frank

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 08:02:25 AM »
Thanks for your feedback everyone!

It is a tough call, and I am still weighing things. I agree with all the arguments against taking a counter, and I want to make sure my feelings aren't because of resistance to change or any other fallacy.

On the other hand, I really do enjoy my current job, am good at it, have a great work/life balance, and the money is the only reason I interviewed elsewhere. This all came as a surprise to me since I did not expect my current job to counter-offer at all. If I thought they would have, I would not have gone about things this way. So if the money issue is solved I have no logical reason to leave.

Some people are the type who constantly want a new work challenge. I portray myself that way to my colleagues to make it seem like I am a "dynamic leader" or whatever but in reality I'm quite OK with plugging away and consistently updating my FIRE spreadsheet :)

Spondulix

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New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2014, 03:13:08 PM »
DH left a company to take a much higher paying job (the company couldn't match). Two years later, his old job called and offered him more than what he was then making. It was almost double what they were paying him before. He went back to his old job, with no hard feelings by either side. It's just part of doing business - if you leave on good terms (and are good at your job), there is the potential of going back down the line.

Lifestyle Deflation

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 12:03:28 AM »
So, 3 years later, how did the situation turn out?

I decided to accept the counter-offer, and I stayed with my company. And I'm still there today. It's unknowable what would have happened if I went the other way, but I am happy with how things have progressed.

I was not actually on the layoff chopping block, as there have been at least 3 rounds of layoffs since then and I've not been sacked. Obviously, you never know what the future holds, but if they were going to get rid of me for this it would have happened by now.

One of the biggest reasons I had for staying was my tenure and potential for future promotion. After a lot of hard work, this month I finally got the promotion to become the manager of the region. This promotion was critical to my career. The upward potential is endless once you get into leadership, but getting there is the hard part. Now I'm there, running a large region for a big company.

This new leadership challenge is incredibly exciting to me. My hope is that this role (and what comes next) helps me achieve FI while also allowing me to be happy with my career and not needing to "grind it out" to achieve early retirement ASAP.

Zamboni

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 06:25:51 AM »
Thank you for the update, and I am happy it worked out for you.

Some company cultures don't actually value employees' worths that much until they HAVE to counter. It's weird. It's like "Oh, someone else wants you? Well they can't have you and now I know you are valuable! On to the fast track!" My company seems to be like that . . . no big raise, ever, unless you bring a competing offer for them to match. Then suddenly your stock goes up. Other than this one ridiculous feature, it is a pretty good place to work. Other places are different, obviously.

On the flip side, I had a friend recently who's current boss tried to get him to stay WITHOUT matching the pay of the outside offer. Then they accused him of being disloyal, and told him he would be "making a big mistake" if he left. Paw . . . we all told him he couldn't leave fast enough, which is what he did.

Congrats, again!

Ocinfo

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2017, 12:08:23 PM »
I'm not sure if it was asked before, but why didn't you go to your manager first, before applying at other places, and having an honest conversation about your pay and your expectations for a raise? Seems like it would have solved these problem.

Not OP but went through same process at same time and it has worked out equally well. To answer your question, I did and I had been getting 5-10% raises, which is the max normal raise (company average was ~3%). Problem was that I was still underpaid (paid very well but less than going rate). By getting a job offer for $50k more than I was making, I suddenly received a counter (literally next day) for an immediate 25% raise, with 3 more guaranteed raises. I’m still there and still moving up so it worked out well.


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Lifestyle Deflation

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Re: New job or counter-offer?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2017, 10:37:26 PM »
Wow, that's badass.

The thing with the OP is that he/she is now in the tough spot.
The corporate world is a place that doesn't always make sense, as we all know. More specifically, the corporate world doesn't like to make a decision unless it absolutely has to.

At least in my experience, forcing the issue is how things get done. In the case of my original post, it was an explicit threat to leave that got them to act.

In the case of my recent promotion, it was a series of implicit threats to leave. I had many conversations with my bosses about my desire to move up (always staying positive), while at the same time seeding the grapevine with my plans to leave if I wasn't promoted. That way you have plausible deniability but word gets around if you "leak" your plans to a notorious gossiper. Corporate politics, gotta love them.