I Got the Job Offer and My Current Job Countered

Dear Work Coach,

I really need your advice.

So the offer finally came through Monday morning. I was boarding a plane on a business trip and they called, and sent the written offer which I received the next day. The offer is exactly what I asked for no more no less.

When I got back home on Thursday, I called my boss to give notice, shortly after I got off the phone with her and she had time to talk to the more senior management, she called me back and told me that they would like to make a counter offer. I also began getting calls from other management w/in the company telling me that to hold off because they would like the chance to counter. I told them what my new deal is, and I got a sense that they wanted to match my new deal.

I am confused and at a cross-road. I have allot of good benefits currently, for example tele-commuting, a friendly environment. There are also some down sides. For example there has not been much upward movement.

In my new job there are some up-sides, it is a career change with new potential, but the work/life balance is not as good.

I want to celebrate, but I feel a huge decision weighing on my shoulders.

Any thoughts on what people do in situations like this?



Hi Brad!

Well, first of all, since the name of this post is How To Tell If a Job Interview Went Well…I have to tell you, Brad…it went really well! Congratulations!!


You are in an enviable position, even if it doesn’t feel that way right this minute. Your current job seems to have a lot going for it. The main drawback you mention is that they haven’t been forthcoming with raises and promotions – at least until now when they fear they may lose you.

Note: I would NOT advise most people to go out and get another offer JUST to pressure their current bosses. Why? Because while sometimes that works, other times they simply say “buh bye!” So a person has to be prepared to really leave if they do that. Plus it can leave a bad taste in a future reference’s mouth.

BUT…you didn’t do that, Brad. You went looking for a better job, found it, and now have a decision to make.

While of course I can only offer suggestions – unfortunately you have to make the decision yourself ;-) – I will say that you have nothing to lose by asking your boss to sit down with you ASAP and have an honest talk about your future should you stay.

Let her know why you’re thinking of leaving and tell her you’re not sure how to guarantee that, if you do stay, this wouldn’t happen again. Tell her you really like the company and the people, but are looking to advance and would like a real career track – and up to now, that hasn’t been the case for you. Then just look her in the eyes and say “Do you have any ideas how we could make this work?” And stop talking. See what she says.

Are they willing to guarantee you anything? What kind of career track, if any, are they offering? Would they be willing to put something in writing? Or are they just paying you more to do exactly what you do now with no hope of promotion. What would make things different this time?

Then, with that added info, you’ll have to look inside yourself and see if you really believe they’ll be different from now on. (Corollary: Is it possible you also need to be a little different somehow?) If your gut tells you they will, it sure sounds like this is a place you feel good about in almost all other ways.

BUT…if all they offer you is the same money and no guarantees or encouragement…or if your gut tells you this may be a dead end no matter what they tell you now…well, then I think you have your answer.

As for the job offer…can you negotiate some better conditions (like at least occasional telecommuting) either up front or later on? And even more than that…are you more excited by the possibilities the new job offers and the things it can teach you – even if the environment is not as good? Is there a possibility it will grow to be friendly and just as good – or better – in other ways? Or is there something really special where you are that goes beyond familiarity and normal workplace friendliness?

Unfortunately, the decision is yours – and it’s a tough one. But the first thing you can do is make sure you’ve explored the possibilities where you are as openly and directly as possible. Show them your strength, your desire to advance, and your willingness to do what you have to to make that happen. And see how they respond.

Then, armed with that extra info, make a list of the pros and cons . After you’ve done that, notice which list you are trying to think of more items to add to. Or which list calls to you more no matter how long or short it is. Usually that’s the one you really want. :)

I know this is tough, but with all my heart I would wish this dilemma for all my readers! The good news is…I don’t think there’s really a bad choice for you, since there are more pros than cons for each. But I know there will be one that calls to you more than the other.

Good luck making the choice that feels right to you! And PLEASE let us know.

Ronnie Ann


In case you’re curious…this post comes from Brad’s 2008/06/27 comment on:

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. An enviable dilemma, Brad, and a thoughtful, thorough answer, Ronnie Ann. Let me reiterate one point you made to Brad. Tell your current employer the reason you went looking in the first place was that you were looking for growth that didn’t seem forthcoming with them. Let them know that you like the company and the people, but need to feel that your career can grow there. If they’re set on keeping you, this will probably make them more attentive to grooming you for advancement. The other side of this coin, of course, is they will be watching you carefully for signs that you’re stepping up to the plate and growing, so you deserve being moved up. There will be no room for complacency at work. You can’t just be valuable at what you’re currently doing so they want to keep you doing it—you have to exhibit the potential for bigger things.

  2. Excellent advice, Terry B. Thank you.

    For a different take on all this (I like to look at all sides when possible) here’s something I just found on another blog that certainly makes it all the more important, should you decide to stay, to get strong commitments from your current employer and really think about what Terry B said: Don’t Accept That Counter Offer

    And if your gut at all feels unsure about whether your current employer can really offer you anything all that different and whether you’ll be feeling the same in a few months anyway…then by all means, take the leap! But if you get a good feel from what they’re telling you…well, I’m glad it’s your decision, Brad. 🙂

    Ronnie Ann

  3. It depends on how much you trust your current employer. If i were you, i’ll just leave. Go to the new job. Changes are not always good, but they are always more exciting than staying at the same place.

    Furthermore, they already know you are planning to leave. Just make sure they know you are leaving not because of money, but because of the problems you want to avoid.

    Don’t make them feel that they can buy you back with money, even if that’s the case.

  4. Good thoughts Alvin. Agree that money alone is not the problem – nor is it the answer.

    Can’t wait to hear what Brad decides!

    Ronnie Ann

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