Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Counteroffer


Is your employer trying to convince you to stay after you’ve handed in your resignation letter? Are they offering you an irresistible counteroffer?

Most of us fall into a dilemma in similar situations as we cannot apprehend the factors to consider to make the right decision. Consequently, we often make the right choice and start regretting it when it’s too late.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Counteroffer

If you were excited about the new job offer you’ve received but are now tempted to stick around, asking yourself the following questions will help you arrive at a decision.

  1. Why Did I Want to Leave?

Money is never the only reason an employee decides to resign from a position. If you’re thinking about considering the counteroffer, remember the top three reasons you wanted to leave in the first place. Think beyond the salary package, your team, and the scope of responsibilities, management style, culture, and other factors. Did those reasons change? Is the counteroffer only about an increase in salary, or does it address the reasons that made you hand over your resignation? If the employer is known for not keeping their promises, tread carefully. Ensure that you assess if the issues are circumstantial or habitual. It needs to be understood that ingrained cultures and ongoing behaviours are less likely to change.

Why Wasn’t I Valued Before?

Why did they wait until the possibility of your resignation arose to take action and appreciate you at the same level as you value yourself? Have you previously requested a raise or a promotion but been turned down? From where does the budget come? Yet, in other instances, the motivation behind the counteroffer has less to do with your value as an employee and more to do with the hassle of finding a replacement. It’s possible that your resignation has actually caused them to recognise that they were undervaluing you. It may even be a ruse to buy you some time so they can replace you later.

What will it be like if I decide to stay?

Now that you’ve given your resignation, your manager is aware that you’re unhappy and looking for better opportunities. At the same time, doubt has arisen regarding your loyalty, plus there has been a loss of trust. Also, they might become suspicious of you going for an interview anytime in the future. Make sure to contemplate what impact it will have on the work dynamics if you accept the counteroffer.

Am I Ready to Burn bridges With the Future Employers?

You underwent the interview process, met with important management, negotiated a compensation and benefits package, and were given an alluring offer, but in the end you decided to say no to them because you received a better counteroffer. Ouch. Companies devote a lot of time and money to the hiring process, so it stings when a promising new hire suddenly drops out. When this happens, taking a step back and considering the larger picture can really help. Is this a business that I want to be a part of in the future? Will declining their offer damage my standing with this business, my recruiter, or the industry as a whole?


Whether you reject the counteroffer or not, always consider the different options and their consequences. In any career-related move, it is best to remain focused on the big picture and have clarity on where each step is going to take you. It could require a strong resolve and a brave face to say no to a generous offer, and it can lead to a guilt trip too. However, five years from now, you could be thanking yourself for taking this decision.

Whatever you choose, take the time to be deliberate and professional in how you convey your choice so that future opportunities remain open and your reputation remains intact. You’ll have to say “no” to someone, whether you take the new job or the counteroffer from your existing company. Be courteous, don’t drag it out any longer than necessary, and don’t ghost either party. If you’re working with a personal recruiter service, be honest with them about your decision (they may be able to offer suggestions to assist you in making your decision!).


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