Everyone has been there at some point in their career — you’re employed at one company, but have become dissatisfied with your job. So you clean up your resume and start looking for a new position. The interview goes well, and the next thing you know, you’re offered the job.
But when you turn in your resignation to your employer, they protest. They ask why you’re leaving and what it would take to get you to stay. Then, they make you a counter-offer.
This is where so many people get themselves into trouble. As tempting as it may be to accept the counteroffer and stay at the company where you have already put in so much time and dedication rather than changing companies and having to learn a new system, doing so is rarely advisable. Not only can it throw you off track professionally, but it can also ruin your relationships with your boss and coworkers moving forward.
Here are our top reasons why agriculture workers should not accept a counter offer.
1. There’s a reason you started looking in the first place.
If you’re like most employees who are actively on the hunt for another job, you’re unhappy about more than just your pay. Maybe your position doesn’t provide you with enough opportunities for growth, or perhaps you don’t feel you are being treated fairly by your employer. Maybe the work environment at your company is uncomfortable, or perhaps you simply make too long of a commute each day.
Whatever the reason, the fact stands that something spurred you to actively seek a different job, interview for the position, and accept an offer. While a counter-offer may alleviate one of two of the original issues temporarily, it isn’t likely that the circumstances that made you want to leave in the first place have really changed at all. In the agricultural industry, where most large companies are desperate for qualified managerial candidates, you can afford to be choosy about where you work.
2. You’re now the employee who tried to leave.
Regardless of the relationship you had with your boss before you accepted the counter-offer, your relationship probably suffered a blow when you came to them with your resignation. Though you remain at the company if you accept the counteroffer, your boss now knows that you were unhappy enough to leave. Now they will constantly suspect that you are still looking for different jobs, and wonder whether you are truly giving your full effort to your other job.
That’s not to mention the fact that whether you tell them or not, word will eventually get out to your coworkers that you wanted to leave the company. This could place a strain on your work relationships, making it difficult to complete group projects effectively. You may be used as the office scapegoat for anything that goes wrong, or even be shunned or excluded from groups of previous office friends.
3. If you were on a promotion track before, you likely aren’t any more.
Remember what we said about your boss wondering whether you are truly giving your full effort to your job? That has broader-reaching implications if you were on track for a promotion before accepting a counteroffer. The fact that you wanted to leave the company shows that you are not as committed as your employer may have thought, a trait that is crucial to any leadership position. Employers are also less likely to promote someone that they suspect may still be looking to leave the company in the near future. Consider your real future with the company before accepting any counter-offer — if the offer does not include a promotion, you probably shouldn’t take it.
4. You’ll have a harder time getting future raises.
If the counter-offer you are extended is a financial one, that spells bad news for future raises. If you had to practically threaten to leave the company just to get this raise, what will you have to do for the next one? It’s also possible that the boost in pay you were offered as a counter-offer was a raise that you might have gotten soon anyway had you stayed with the company longer, but now that you’ve been given this raise, it’s going to be awhile before you get one again, if you ever do.
5. Counter-offers are made under pressure.
Telling your boss you’re being wooed by another company isn’t a great way to get them to think rationally. Especially in an industry like agriculture or food production, where the number of open management positions far outnumber the candidates who are qualified to fill them, losing an employee can mean trouble for the company. If your resignation comes during the peak season, it’s even worse.
An employer who extends a counter-offer may just be desperate to retain a good employee, and may not stop to consider the true implications of keeping you there. And you, in the face of a better deal than what the other company is offering, may not consider the implications of staying.
Once the peak season is over and business has slowed again, both you and your boss may experience buyer’s remorse. Allow yourself time to really consider all of your options before making a decision.
6. It buys time to look for your replacement.
No employer wants an employee who doesn’t want to be at the company anymore. When you tell your boss you’re thinking of accepting an offer from another company, this is the thought that immediately pops into their minds, and once that initial doubt as to your business loyalty is there, it can be detrimental to your job security.
It’s not uncommon for employers to extend a counter-offer to keep your position filled just until they can find your replacement. Often a counter-offer keeps you at a price that is higher than the employer would really like to pay (hence why it was only offered when you were about to leave). Now that they’ve gotten you to stay, they’re probably going to look for someone who will work for a lower price. Once the busy season is over, you may find yourself out of a job.
7. You’ll violate trust with the other employer.
No boss wants an employee who they can’t trust to be loyal, but with counter-offers, that’s a two-way street — accepting one not only shows your current boss that you can be bought, but it shows the manager who offered you the new position that you really weren’t committed to joining their company. By the time your interview process gets to the offer stage, the company you are considering joining may have already shifted personnel or financing to make room for you to come on board, and backing out at that point burns a bridge that you may rather keep intact. If the company is one that you might still like to work with in the future, it’s wise to not accept the counteroffer from your current employer.
If you’re ready to move up in your company, look no further than JBN & Associates. We have more than 100 years of combined experience placing candidates in top agricultural positions. To learn more about our executive placement program, give JBN & Associates a call at 480-344-2822, or visit our website at www.jbnassociates.com.