You’ve been offered a new and exciting job with a different organisation. It’s a big step up the career ladder, which means more responsibility, more money and more opportunities. Go you.

Then comes the counter offer. Your current organisation doesn’t want to lose you. They recognise the contribution that you’re making and want you to play a part in the company’s future. They offer you more money, more responsibility and more opportunities.

The thing is, it’s not just about the money, the responsibility and the opportunities. It’s also about the organisation. When you walked in the doors for the first time something just felt right. You know that you’re going to fit in.

Although it might seem like a great position to be in (it’s nice to be popular, hey?) it can be really hard to reject the counter offer. You’re essentially breaking up with your current employer. So how do you tell them?


Be clear about why you started looking for another job in the first place

With a counter offer on the table your existing company might be looking rosy. But even with a new package, the dissatisfaction that gave you the nudge to look for a new job will still be lurking in the background.

You don’t need to explain all of those reasons to your current employer, but it is important that you are really clear about why you wanted out. Keep these reasons in mind when the dollar signs start flashing in front of you.


Be honest, firm and polite

You might feel some loyalty to your existing company or current boss, but this is business and at the end of the day, the company will act in their own best interests, not yours.

Be honest about the new opportunity and why you think it is a good career move. You don’t need to disclose any details, but you can show your enthusiasm.

Be firm in rejecting the counter offer – tell them that you are flattered that they want you to stay but the new job will help you to pursue your long-term career goals.

Of course, even if you have been having a tough time in your current role, it’s best to be polite.


Don’t burn any bridges

You might have another job to go to but remember that your current organisation will still play a small role in your future career – references.

So when you are rejecting the counter offer ensure that you remain professional, even if you don’t feel like it. You might be sailing off into new and exciting career waters, but you don’t want to burn any bridges on your way upstream.