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Accepting a job counter offer/buy back - The Worst Career Decision You Can Make!

13/07/17
Posted by: Tom Morris

Accepting a job counter offer/buy back – The worst career decision you can make!

93% of employees who accept a job counter offer/buy back from current employer after handing in their notice will leave that company within the next 12 months.

I will let that sink in for a bit!

93% of people who get bought back by current employer leave within 12 months.

After 12 years in the recruitment industry it baffles me why candidates think that counter offers/buy backs are the best career decision.

I have always found that money is not the underlying reason to consider a career move, it is usually factors such as company culture, unhappy working environment, lack of career progression, bad manager, commute etc. that drive people to change roles.

Being paid another £5,000 - £10,000 per annum is not going to take away the issues. Yes, you might initially feel better, but resigning is one of the most difficult things to do in your career. You could be doing it to someone you regard as a friend, but you must keep in your mind the reasons why you are leaving your current role.

We can thrash over the reasons of accepting a buy back, but instead I will focus on what happens after you have said yes to stay.

  • Why does it take a letter of resignation for them to believe you are the best thing since sliced bread and offer you the pay rise? Your employer is only paying you more because it is probably cheaper than recruiting your replacement
  • Money will never solve all the issues you are unhappy with. Will your boss be less unreasonable, will your colleagues stop making bad decisions, will they undo that decision of overlooking you for promotion? I doubt it.
  • You will be a marked person and seen as un-loyal. Your boss will resent having to pay you extra to stay put. The initial relief will turn to anger and the initial problems you had could get worse as your boss becomes more unreasonable.
  • You will be overlooked for promotion as the resentment strikes again and your boss questions your ability to make a decision and stick with it.
  • Your colleagues will view you suspiciously as they will undoubtedly know you have accepted a buy back.
  • You will outprice yourself in the market when you do look to move. Unless you were horrifically underpaid, then its unlikely other employers will be willing to match your new salary.
  • Critical you will be back out on the market looking for a new job with 6-12 months!

I know there are candidates that are exceptions to the rule above, but they are very much in the minority.

The counter offer/buyback will remain in the industry, but it will continue to baffle me why people accept it based on the number of negatives saying “yes” to staying can have.