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Resigning & Counter Offers


It can be an incredibly difficult decision to move on from a company and handing in your resignation can be quite an unnerving prospect.  We have put some tips below on how best to handle this situation:

  • Before handing in your resignation it is a good idea to read through your contract to confirm your notice period and any other specific information you need to be aware of.
  • You should always provide a written resignation letter detailing the position you are resigning from, the last date of your employment and any other key information you would like to add.
  • It is common for employers to hold exit interviews or send out exit questionnaires to understand your reasons for leaving.  Honesty is key in these situations but try to remain constructive and as positive as possible.
  • Wherever possible you should leave a company on good terms.  You never know when you will come across previous colleagues again and you may wish to return to the company at some point in your career.

Counter Offers

During the process of resigning, your employer may take the opportunity to counter offer you with a promotion or salary increase.  This can be a difficult proposition to consider so we have put some information below to help you make the right decision:​

  • Before handing in your notice ask yourself if there is anything your employer can offer you to stay.  If no, then stay strong and do not entertain conversation regarding counter offers during the resignation process.  If yes, make sure you are clear in your head what these reasons are and see if their proposal ticks the boxes.
  • The most important point is to remember the reasons why you were leaving your current employment – unless it was due to financials or a promotion then it is very unlikely that your underlying issues for moving on have been resolved and nothing will actually change for you.
  • It is worth considering that if you choose to accept a counter offer then your relationship with your manager may not recover.  They will question your loyalty and your reasons for being there and feelings of resentment and/or distrust will set in. After all, you have made it clear that you were planning on leaving the company and have only stayed due to financial incentives.  
  • If it takes your resignation for a company to offer you a pay rise or promotion, then you have to question if its somewhere you want to work. You should be valued and rewarded for your performance on a day to day basis, not just because you have threatened to leave.
  • There is a real concern over job security once you have resigned and then decided to stay.  If there is a situation where the company needs to cut costs or make redundancies, then it is likely you will be higher up the list of those to be exited.
  • Finally, you really need to consider the consequences externally of accepting a counter offer as you are likely to be burning bridges with the company you were due to join and your professional reputation will be at stake.  
  • Whilst there are number of compelling reasons to reject a counter offer, there will be some situations where it makes sense for you to accept.   
  • If you are offered a counter offer which makes you reconsider resigning then make sure you have it in writing before you accept and that your contract of employment is updated accordingly.

Ultimately accepting a counter offer is often a short term fix and more often than not you will be looking for another job within six months. Statistics suggest that as many as 70% of people that accept counter offers leave or are let go within a year.  Always take the time to reflect on what has been offered and consider all the pros and cons of the whole situation before making a decision.