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5 Ways Accepting A Counteroffer Can Hurt Your Career

The next step after accepting a job offer is to resign at your current place of work if you have not done so already. However, upon resigning, many are faced with the challenge of rejecting or accepting a counteroffer.  While there are two sides to every decision, here are 5 reasons why accepting that counteroffer is one of the common mistakes job seekers make, and is not as enticing as it would initially appear. 

Loss of Trust

No matter how good your relationship was with your boss, there will be an irretrievable loss of trust once you tell them you are resigning. Gaining the same level of confidence that you once had will be quite hard, and will most likely negatively affect your work life after accepting the counteroffer.

By accepting the counteroffer you will also break the trust with the company that was going to hire you. As such, you will most likely no longer have any chance of being employed by them in the future. Not only did they invest a lot of time and resources into hiring you, they potentially could have set out announcements that you had accepted the offer. You also wouldn’t expect them to go back on their word for hiring you.


Ask yourself these questions when being given a counteroffer: “Why am I being offered a promotion only now after I am resigning, was I not a valuable asset previously?” Receiving a promotion is great because it demonstrates that your achievements were noticed and your hard work paid off. However, when the promotion only comes in the form of a counteroffer to convince you to stay, it is most likely not entirely because your hard work paid off. Likely, the pay raise was offered because convincing you to stay is easier than going through the process of hiring your replacement.

Restricting Professional Growth

One of the major reasons that good employees quit their jobs is because they saw no future in their current position or company. Instead of giving yourself the opportunity to grow by accepting a new position, you could potentially be restricting yourself by staying somewhere comfortable and this will limit your long-term career growth.

Furthermore, when it comes time for promotion in the future you will most likely be remembered as the person who almost left the company rather than for your achievements. Loyalty to the company is rewarded more often than not, and seeking outside opportunities will certainly be remembered when it comes time for promotions.

Job Security

Another aspect to take into consideration is that your job security will be less certain in the future. From the company's point of view, if you have already expressed a desire to leave, you are an easy candidate to let go should the company need to go through a round of layoffs.

Additionally, there is also the possibility that they will begin looking for your replacement in the coming months after your initial resignation. 

Recurring Issues

Most likely you did not go searching for a new job opportunity with only salary in mind. If there were internal issues or other motivations for your resignation, those issues would still be present. All the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place, whether it be due to having a bad relationship with your boss,  no work life balance, the work is not challenging enough, or you see no future career progression, will still be there should you decide to accept the counteroffer. Since those issues or concerns you had are still present then you will need to assess whether or not these are things you can ignore. In the counteroffer, you may have received an increase in pay or more responsibilities, but this does not mean those initial problems will disappear, in fact, they will likely reappear sooner than you would think.


• Your resignation may cause a loss of trust with both your current company and the one you were interviewing with.
• You become more expendable if your company goes through layoffs.
• Will the problems you had with the company disappear if you accept to counteroffer? If the answer is no, you will most likely find yourself job hunting again in no time.

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