Why I Wish I Rejected the Counteroffer

August 13th, 2014 | Counteroffers, Job Search, Resume | 3 Comments »

Reject the Counteroffer Jonathan Hudson

There are people out there who will tell you that counteroffers are bad until they’re blue in the face. But until you have one sitting on your plate, looking really juicy like a porterhouse steak, it’s hard to know what you’ll do. Here’s why I personally wish I’d turned down my counteroffer.

Before I found success in staffing, I did a short stint in the banking industry. During lean times, the bank laid everybody off, but thankfully I had acquired my insurance licenses while I was there, so companies were trying to snatch me up like hot cakes. Job offers were pouring in and I accepted one for two reasons: the company had a celebrity spokesperson (think in the ballpark of beloved game show hosts) and strong financial success. It was a no-brainer.

The role had me selling healthcare supplements in the senior market, which, since I love people, was a great fit for my skills. However, I felt there was a big incompatibility. The further I got into the business processes and culture, it felt like we were taking advantage of the client. And that’s not something I feel comfortable doing.

I wasn’t quiet about my reservations. Several times I brought my concerns to the manager. I respectfully questioned the tactics we were told to use and whether or not our customers truly comprehended what we were selling them. He assured me we were providing value, but I wasn’t convinced. Time passed, my misgivings went unanswered, and no real solutions were ever provided.

That’s when I decided I would resign. I put in my notice and told them it would be my last week.

By the next day, the tune had changed and a counteroffer was slapped down on my plate. If I agreed to stay, they would take me out of the field and let me train a small team of agents. I’d be able to run the team under my own discretion. And of course, there was a substantial increase in base salary. The money was too good, so I took it, under the impression that I could make a real difference.

In that moment, I really did think that I was special. I naively looked at my counteroffer as an honor. Here, they come and say “No, we’ll contort ourselves for you.” It’s an ego booster. I felt special. Heck, I even felt guilty about my thoughts to reject the counteroffer.

Jump seven to eight months down the line, and I was at the same impasse. It was clear that if I wanted to succeed, I had to toe the line. And my conscience still heavily tugged at me. In the end, I did leave and brought myself to a more mainstream insurance company that fit my own cultural needs.

I learned two things about counteroffers from this experience.

1.) Regardless of what you are offered, don’t forget why you wanted to leave in the first place. Any other factors outside of money won’t change. An entire company’s culture or processes will not be reformatted to fit you and any concession your boss offers to make is usually just to pacify you.

2.) Never sacrifice integrity or your values for fiscal gain.

If I had to do it again, I would reject the counteroffer. No second thoughts.

By Jonathan Hudson


3 Responses to “Why I Wish I Rejected the Counteroffer”

  1. Chris says:

    Great read Jonathan. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ana Malecki says:

    Excellent article!

  3. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience! Far too often I hear similar “wish I would’ve realized why I was leaving in the first place”… and rarely see that it actually ever works out in the long run. Great article!