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How to Prevent a Counter-Offer When You Resign

It’s a very exciting time in your life.  After navigating a tough set of interviews, you’ve just accepted a lucrative job offer with a company you believe in and are about to advance to the next level in your career.  Now you have to drop that resignation bomb on your current employer.  You’ve been reading all those articles on why accepting a counter-offer is bad, however here are a few tips to encourage your boss not to give you one.

First, be assertive in the delivery of your resignation, in person and in writing.   Make it crystal clear that you’ve made this decision and what they can expect from you over the next two weeks.  We once had a candidate go into his resignation by saying, “I’m thinking about leaving”.  That left the door wide open for a counter-offer.  Management stopped everything, scrambled to give him an 18% salary increase among other perks and we lost the deal.  But that’s another story.  Point is, when you resign, be adamant from the start.  “I have accepted a new position and my start date is XX/XX.   Therefore my last day here will be XX/XX.”

Once everyone has been informed you are leaving, start working on knowledge transfer to your co-workers immediately.  This will not only ease the additional work that’s going to be put on them, but will also ensure priorities will be handled and business will go on after you’ve left.    Successfully shifting your priorities and responsibilities will also be good practice for your documentation and organizational skills.

Finally, start cleaning out your desk the day you resign.  You may still need a few things to do your job during those last two weeks, but take home whatever you can from your work space the day you give notice; pictures, mementos etc.  This will set the tone and let everyone know you’re serious while giving you a reality check that this is the end.

Ultimately you have no control as to whether your employer will come at you with a counter-offer when you resign, but by staying assertive and executing an action plan, your employer will hopefully accept and respect your decision.


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