Please don’t leave! I’ll change, I promise.

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January 3, 2014

By Erica Rothman

No matter how many times we coach candidates on why they should never accept a counter-offer from their employer when they put in their notice to resign, it never ceases to amaze me how many just cant resist the urge to take it.  No matter how many times they say they won’t and that they are leaving no matter what, that carrot gets dangled at the 11th hour and its just so hard to walk away from it. I get it.  I really do! Its like my college boyfriend who never took me out on romantic dates or brought me flowers or did anything more than invite me over to “hang out” and watch football, who ended up begging me to stay after I broke up with him, swearing he will change and promising me he will do all the things I asked him to do prior to finally breaking up with him.  I mean, I really did love him and I didn’t really want to “get back out there” and date again and we did have fun together and had all the same friends, so I gave in. I took his “counter-offer” of flowers and dates if I stayed. Well needless to say, that didn’t last long. It was great for about a month. Flowers and dinners out, attentiveness and romance and then…back to the way things were before and I even found out he was “seeing what else was out there,” due to the phone number for some girl named Chelsea I found in his jacket pocket. I should have just left when I said I was going to and shouldn’t have fallen for his promises to change. I could have met someone else in that month who treated me the way I wanted to be treated and been happy. But he was so convincing. He was so sad. He didn’t want to lose me so he vowed to be the man I wanted him to be so I didn’t leave. Not because he wanted to, but because he didn’t want me to leave.

Great story, Erica. But, how does this relate to taking a counter offer that a current employer gives when you resign from a job? Its quite simple. When you tell your employer you are leaving and they come back with whatever it is you are leaving for so you don’t leave, its just like my college boyfriend promising me the things I was missing because I was leaving. If you are leaving for more money and they offer you more money to stay, for example, they are pulling the same thing he pulled. So this money was just sitting there on the table with no where to go and it was never offered to me before? What about my stellar performance last year – why wasn’t it offered to me then? When a boyfriend or an employer only promises to give you what you want when you’ve had it and are leaving it will be short lived and they will most likely start looking for your replacement, ie. Chelsea. Furthermore, who wants to work for a company or date a guy that will only give you what you want when you threaten to leave or are actually leaving? Wouldn’t you want to work for company or be with someone that gives you what you want because they value your contribution to their life or company? If you want more money or better hours or anything really out of your job, ask for it. Ask for it without any threats and without any consequences. Ask for it because you feel you deserve it and express to your employer just that. If they don’t see the value and don’t feel you deserve it, then perhaps its time to move on. If you decide its time to move on, move on. Don’t go out and look for a new job and get an offer only to use it as leverage with your current employer. Work for someone who values your contribution and treats you the way you wanted to be treated from the get go!