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Dreaded counter offer with 2 weeks notice
Old 05-09-2018, 07:46 AM   #1
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Dreaded counter offer with 2 weeks notice

Hi y'all, I'm really impressed by the insight provided by so many ERs, many from managers from / with megacorp. I have a dilemma where I work in consulting and generate a lot of my own work for my team with a particular client. A competing firm started talking to me and wanted me to join their team. I now have an offer from them, but also expect a counter offer from my current firm, especially since I'm fully billable, generate new revenue, and am the one closest to the client. What should I do about the dreaded counter offer that may be more lucrative?

Notes: I have no non compete
Both jobs provide flexibility with a remote office and going in 2-3 times per week to the client
New company is providing a sign on bonus of 6% annual
New company has more vacation time through negotiation
New company was employee stock purchase plan with a discount, which I intend to fully take advantage of to speed my way to fire.
New company had an extra 1% match for 401k, but on a 3yr graded vesting
I'm about 50% to my fire goal, but have a young family with 3 young kids and stay at home wife.

The plan is to turn in 2 weeks notice and politely thank them; Keep details of new employer completely confidential except that it is a competitor; if an initial counter offer is provided ask them why am I worth so much more today than yesterday.

Thanks in advance for all the feedback. I'll update the team as it progresses.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #2
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Don't be so sure you will get the "dreaded counter offer". My former Megacorp had a policy of NOT countering to keep an employee. The reason being, once an employee has made the effort to interview and get an offer, they have already decided to leave. It is only a matter of when.

I can't say I disagree with this philosophy.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:12 AM   #3
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We have had "producers" leave our company thinking they would be taking their book of business with them to a competitor. It rarely worked out that way, and many were terminated by their new employer when the business didn't follow them.


Employers are not interested in paying employees more than the going rate for their work since doing so can lead to being uncompetitive. If you've discovered the going rate is higher for your position than you are being paid, giving your current employer an opportunity to bring you up to market rate shows some loyalty and may help you reach your goals sooner through an enhanced compensation package. Why would you dread this?
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:15 AM   #4
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I'm curious if you already tried and failed to ask for a raise at your current employer?
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:17 AM   #5
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I was all set to leave, but then took a counter offer that, in retrospect, is the single biggest reason I was able to ER as early as I did. Kept me at my MC but in a different area, was actually not from my direct boss but from someone higher up in IT that said "what can I give you to make you come work for me instead vs. leave the company?", when he heard I was leaving via org. announcement.

(my boss at the time was even less pleased than me leaving by this point, but it was worth it).

Don't be totally closed off to it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Don't be so sure you will get the "dreaded counter offer". My former Megacorp had a policy of NOT countering to keep an employee. The reason being, once an employee has made the effort to interview and get an offer, they have already decided to leave. It is only a matter of when.

I can't say I disagree with this philosophy.
I told management about this philosophy many, many times, they never listened.

guess what? every time they talked someone out of quitting they quit anyway, usually within 6 months - go figure
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:21 AM   #7
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I was all set to leave, but then took a counter offer that, in retrospect, is the single biggest reason I was able to ER as early as I did. Kept me at my MC but in a different area, was actually not from my direct boss but from someone higher up in IT that said "what can I give you to make you come work for me instead vs. leave the company?", when he heard I was leaving via org. announcement.

(my boss at the time was even less pleased than me leaving by this point, but it was worth it).

Don't be totally closed off to it.
I got the full court press last time I quit; I told them I had given my word to my new employer and I was not going to take any counters. "What will it take to get you to stay? Anything?" - they even offered to move me up here and let me work out of my house - I still declined

I don't renege on my word
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:36 AM   #8
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I don't renege on my word
^^^ This.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #9
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You obviously had reasons for seeking other employment.... those reasons typically don't have much to do with money but more to do with work environment, management aptitude and attitude, etc. IF you get that counter-offer, think through whether any of those factors have changed or not. While money is important, work environment is an important factor too.

I resigned once and was lured back by a counter-offer.... I ended up leaving 6-9 months later but for reasons that had nothing to do with the firm (moved to live-in with DW who was DGF at the time) so I'm not sure how long I would have stayed.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:47 AM   #10
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You obviously had reasons for seeking other employment.... those reasons typically don't have much to do with money but more to do with work environment, management aptitude and attitude, etc. IF you get that counter-offer, think through whether any of those factors have changed or not. While money is important, work environment is an important factor too.

I resigned once and was lured back by a counter-offer.... I ended up leaving 6-9 months later but for reasons that had nothing to do with the firm (moved to live-in with DW who was DGF at the time) so I'm not sure how long I would have stayed.
once you have accepted an offer from another employer AND submitted your resignation, the relationship with your current employer will never be the same
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:53 AM   #11
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A lot of good advice has been posted. I won't repeat it. Hopefully it is read and thoughtfully considered. My only addition is that the grass isn't always greener and you might be able to make your current job way better if you continue to bring in work because, at the end of the day, that's what gets huge raises.
Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:54 AM   #12
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If I understand this correctly, you're not leaving because you're unhappy at your current employer but because the new guys approached you and basically made you an offer you can't refuse. This is the one situation where I think accepting a counter offer can work out for both sides.

If you want to stay with your current employer, figure out in advance what they'd have to offer in order to keep you and be realistic about whether it's possible for them to do it. They're not going to establish a stock purchase plan just for you, but they might be able to add people at your level (or promote you to a level that participates) in an existing plan. Likewise, they can't adjust the 401k match unless they do it for everyone, and that takes time.

When you resign, make it clear that this job came to you, not the other way around. If they ask what they can do to keep you, that's the time to give them your requirements. There is no need to ask them why you are worth more today than yesterday; that's just adversarial and will create hard feelings if you end up staying. You know perfectly well that you're worth more today because your labor is a scarce commodity and someone else has expressed a willingness to pay more for it. It's basic economics and no sane person (or company) pays more than he has to in order to acquire what he needs.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Don't be so sure you will get the "dreaded counter offer". My former Megacorp had a policy of NOT countering to keep an employee. The reason being, once an employee has made the effort to interview and get an offer, they have already decided to leave. It is only a matter of when.

I can't say I disagree with this philosophy.
Wow, thanks for so many responses so quickly. Back in 2012, my department was being terminated. At the time, I didn't want to be the last on a sinking ship so I got an offer from a competitor. My current company provide a counter to another group and I took it. It worked out really well with a move into management, 20% more money, and flexibility in my job, so I'm pretty sure there will be a counter this time around. Again I like the work life balance, but the pay is not what the market is paying.

Also note I haven't reneged since I haven't accepted new employer yet.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:00 AM   #14
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The only reason I've left a Co. I was working for was I was unhappy or feeling stressed. Never for more dough.

If you are happy where you are and doing well consider that my not be the case at the new Co.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Don't be so sure you will get the "dreaded counter offer". My former Megacorp had a policy of NOT countering to keep an employee. The reason being, once an employee has made the effort to interview and get an offer, they have already decided to leave. It is only a matter of when.

I can't say I disagree with this philosophy.
+1
When I was a manager I never gave a counter offer, as they could leave soon after and sets the wrong example for the rest of the staff to try the concept if they have nothing to lose.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:20 AM   #16
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+1
When I was a manager I never gave a counter offer, as they could leave soon after and sets the wrong example for the rest of the staff to try the concept if they have nothing to lose.
we had a guy once that got an offer from a competitor

he went in to talk to the office manager and said "hey i really want to stay but i just want more $$$"

the office manager called the competitor who made the offer and they ended up pulling the offer
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:24 AM   #17
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If I understand this correctly, you're not leaving because you're unhappy at your current employer but because the new guys approached youand basically made you an offer you can't refuse. This is the one situation where I think accepting a counter offer can work out for both sides...
I agree. The bolded fact puts a different spin on it imo.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:28 AM   #18
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+1
When I was a manager I never gave a counter offer, as they could leave soon after and sets the wrong example for the rest of the staff to try the concept if they have nothing to lose.
Bingo!

I strongly suggest the OP re-assess why they might want to move, and if they like where they are at, aside for more money. As was already said, the grass is not always greener.

If it is only about money, and you have the right relationship with your boss, you might have a conversation about how the "other guys" tried to lure you away, that you intend to stay, but would like to know if there is a path to a promotion and more compensation. But this tactic has a risk of you being labeled as a "flight risk", so be careful.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
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When I was a manager I never gave a counter offer, as they could leave soon after and sets the wrong example for the rest of the staff to try the concept if they have nothing to lose.
At my MC, I've seen people announce plans to leave. Their boss asks them "What can I do to keep you?"

They say "I want X promotion" or "I want Y money".

The universal response from the boss was "I really need you on our team, but my hands are tied by the personnel systems."

Translation: "I don't want to be bothered breaking in a new person, but everybody is replaceable."
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:41 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bj345 View Post
Hi y'all, I'm really impressed by the insight provided by so many ERs, many from managers from / with megacorp. I have a dilemma where I work in consulting and generate a lot of my own work for my team with a particular client. A competing firm started talking to me and wanted me to join their team. I now have an offer from them, but also expect a counter offer from my current firm, especially since I'm fully billable, generate new revenue, and am the one closest to the client. What should I do about the dreaded counter offer that may be more lucrative?

Notes: I have no non compete
Both jobs provide flexibility with a remote office and going in 2-3 times per week to the client
New company is providing a sign on bonus of 6% annual
New company has more vacation time through negotiation
New company was employee stock purchase plan with a discount, which I intend to fully take advantage of to speed my way to fire.
New company had an extra 1% match for 401k, but on a 3yr graded vesting
I'm about 50% to my fire goal, but have a young family with 3 young kids and stay at home wife.

The plan is to turn in 2 weeks notice and politely thank them; Keep details of new employer completely confidential except that it is a competitor; if an initial counter offer is provided ask them why am I worth so much more today than yesterday.

Thanks in advance for all the feedback. I'll update the team as it progresses.
All clients are gone someday. I worked 30+ years in consulting and made rain along with doing work (100% billable also). Be careful as once the existing client is gone or used up, you will need to find more. That may not be as easy as you think if the economy sours for a bit. You may also find out that existing clients may not be that willing to jump ship and follow you.

Also, it's hard being a rainmaker and a doer in consulting and typically, that effort tends to not be effective on both counts. A rainmaker is a better deal (financially) if you clearly can be a person that can find and close work all the time.
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