The two trickiest words in the world of work: ‘I quit’

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Resigning from your job can be daunting. You may play out the conversation in your head and rehearse what you are going to say. You expect your boss to be disappointed but gracefully accept and understand. But what if your employer suddenly offers you the world? Pay rise, promotion or endless promises? Beware your boss isn’t gilding the cage

Sure, who wouldn’t be flattered with an instant pay rise, promise of promotion, or anything else that your boss may say to keep you?

See beyond the flattery, however, and consider these questions when deciding whether to accept your boss’s revised offer of employment:

1. What is making you unhappy and can it be fixed?

If you feel that you deserve more money, that you should have won that promotion you didn’t get, or that you need more responsibility, definitely do speak to your boss. It may feel like an awkward conversation, but it could save you a lot of unhappiness and frustration. It may also help you understand the fuller picture and help you understand what you need to do to achieve your goals (especially if your goal isn’t immediately achievable).

2. If you’re being promised a change, are you confident your boss will deliver?

You may bag yourself the promise of promotion in the coming months or a fancy bonus, but can you be sure this will actually materialise? Are the timescales realistic? As strange as it may sound, you won’t be the one who benefits from a counter offer. You may well be told what you want to hear in order to keep you in the position; their motivation may simply be to buy themselves some time. Don’t lose sight of the reason you have decided to leave; that reason might still be a there a year from now.

3. How will your boss feel about you, now that you have accepted their counter offer?

It might well be that the flattery was real: your employer might adore you and hate to lose you. On the other hand, if you’ve really never felt valued and are only tempted to stay because they’ve sweetened the deal, they may no longer see you as a committed and trusted member of the team. It could have a real knock on effect on your longer term plans within the company, if in fact your employer now questions your loyalty.

4. If your counter offer comes with a pay increase or a nice little bonus, where is the money coming from?

Had your employers refused previous requests for a pay rise? Are they now falling over themselves to give you money? If so, where is this money coming from? You may find that this extra money is coming from any pay increases in the coming years, so you won’t see any further increase in a while (if you’re still there in a year’s time). An increase to your pay just now is cheaper in the short term for an employer that quickly finding a replacement if you leave.

It is worth pointing out that not all counteroffer situations are inherently suspicious as each situation is of course different.  It's certainly something to think about if you are soon to be handing in your notice for pastures new - could your decision be swayed?


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Image: ajari