Termination / Quitting and Counter
One word on counter offers: NO!
Think about it, when was the last time you heard an employer say "Smith
has stayed with us for 10 years despite offers from ACME (I grew up
watching Bugs Bunny (r))..." NOT! The closest things I've ever heard
was "Jones used to work for ACME, our competition in our anvil line,
but came to us 6 years ago..." or "We hired John as a consultant, then
he decided to become a full time employee...".
Despite the fact that
the company may have actively recruited the particular employee, the
company does not see it that way. Instead the company may feel that
they just gave that individual an alternative, so that person came to
So how does that mentality fit in with
the counter offer?
You are looking to leave
- why? Is it because you think you've
found a better offer elsewhere? Or is it because you can not tolerate
your current conditions? In either case your employer sees you as
wanting to leave. You've just given your boss your two week notice, and
the first thing out of your boss's mouth is "We will beat the offer by
20%" You start thinking "Cool - the other employer just gave me a 10%
increase, so that works out to a 32% raise!! Wow... I did not know I
was that valuable..."
slowly works its way into the
picture when you start to think
Many headhunters have
told me that the employer does not suddenly start caring about you at
this moment, but is really caring more about their company or
department. The manager, making the counter offer, suddenly sees you as
an important piece of
the machine that makes the company or department
- "Why didn't they realize that
earlier?..." Then you can feel the target being hung on your back when
you begin thinking
- "Why am I so valuable now?"
Note the key word in the last sentence - piece - that's all
that you are... Important - of course, otherwise the counter offer
would not have been made. Now let's see how that how important that
piece is to the machine.
I'll parallel the company to my car - a
machine with many pieces - some important, some not important. Your
position is like one of the pieces and you are like the "current" part.
I do not smoke, so I when I bought a radar detector that went into my
cigarette lighter, I threw out my cigarette lighter. Bad analogy, it's
more like being laid off, transferred or fired. in this case the
company eliminated the position, and you just happen to the one
affected. My tape player died, but I was happy enough with the radio
for the time. I will eventually replace the radio with a stereo when I
have the time and money. The car still gets me from home to work and
where ever else without the tape player, and I get enough radio
stations such that I really do not care if I have a tape player. If
your employer feels that the company can get along without someone in
your position, even for a while, forget about any counter offer.
for about the counter offer analogy. My cooling system has given me
grief on many occasions. Almost everyone (remember the 10 people I
mentioned - I can name 1 for this analogy) knows that the car will not
function for more than a few minutes unless the cooling system is
working. One time a hose sprung a leak and I was a few miles from the
nearest service station. So what does any real man do in such a
situation? Duct tape! I waited for the car to cool and I put duct tape
over the leak to fix that piece, the leaky hose. Now think
So will an employer want to do the
same? Not really. At the nearest service station I replaced the
duct-taped hose. Thus either see yourself as the leaky hose or receive
- I am like an
important piece of the car
- The counter offer is like duct tape
- The hose
is a piece of the car For the 10 stupid people:
- I am the leaky hose
"Would I want to drive 100 miles with a leaking hose patched with duct
tape?" Not unless you really must.
Now to really complicate things. Getting offers from
more than one company. In my opinion the best thing to do is to try get
all companies, with out any of them knowing such, to give you the same
deadline. Evaluate each offer separately, analyzing the benefits for
you and responsibilities that will be upon you. Do not compare the
offers to each other, stay focused on your goals. When they start
bidding against each other it may be a real ego booster, but ask
yourself "Why didn't they offer that to me in the first place?" Taking
such an offer may lead to trouble down the road. You may become the
line item that busts the department's budget. Despite the fact that
your boss spent $2,500 on computer with a $1,500 monitor and another
$1,000 on support contract to play solitaire, your salary will be the
item that went over budget.
Bottom line - some of the people on the
unemployment line are former employees who accepted counter offers.
Weather staying on at a company because their boss
they all ended up in the same place. Unless
you have some money in the bank and want an unexpected vacation, stay
on course and do not become swayed by counter offers.
realized my value
- taking the highest bid
- someone really
knew what I was worth