If you are in the position of receiving a counter offer, congrats to you as you are in a very good position. So, take a moment to breathe and make sure that you realize that you are in a position of power and not in a position of weakness.
If you are not at the counter-offer stage yet, or you’re looking for advice, here is how you can plan to make the best decision for your short term and long-term career.
When you’re serious about getting a new job, BEFORE you ever step foot on site for an interview, make a list of pros and cons of your current role, and a list of what you would need in order to leave. If your reasons for leaving are something you want to try to address, speak with your boss now. If these issues can be resolved, then you just saved yourself a lot of time and effort in looking for a new job. If your employer won’t budge on what would make you happy, these lists will serve as a grounding point for the new offers you will be getting, as well as a reminder of why you wanted to leave your current position. Not to mention, when you resign to your boss, you can reference this conversation to ease the delivery.
My advice is that if you’re willing to accept a counteroffer, or you’re even thinking of accepting a counteroffer, you shouldn’t be going to a final interview. There’s a difference between looking to see what’s out there, and fully committing yourself to a new role. If you were looking to leave initially, there must have been a reason that probably wasn’t just money related. If you’re given a counter offer, will any of those reasons change? Probably not.
Your Employer Does Not Want You to Leave
Keep in mind that if you leave your current position, your boss is going to have to use huge amounts of resources to replace you, something they want to avoid at all costs. If you tell them you’ve accepted an offer somewhere else, they’ll probably try to either match your offer or incentivize you to stay with job enhancements like a title bump, flexible hours, more vacation, etc. You may start to forget all of the reasons you wanted to leave and accept their counter offer without thinking of the benefits of leaving. This is why you should speak to your boss before you interview and it’s why you made a list of why you’re leaving before you even went on any final interview.
Follow Through and Trust Your Gut.
If you go on an interview and want the new role, do not accept the counter offer. This is your career and your life, you need to do what you think is best and don’t let your decisions become clouded by something unexpected such as a counter offer. Make sure that you prepare for all possible outcomes and never look back!