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How to weigh up a job offer, and counteroffers?

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How to weigh up a job offer and counteroffers?
Cormac Loughlin

Congratulations, after CV updates, due diligence and in-person or remote interviews you have been offered a new and exciting role. So, what is next: As you break the news to your line manager, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a counteroffer to stay.

The goal here is to weigh up both opportunities without emotion clouding your judgement, and by following the below steps, you can come to a decision that is the best for you, your career and your progression.


1. Commitment to be honest with yourself while you make this decision

This is the hardest part; it is a very emotional time as you have laid roots, built strong relationships and become comfortable with the routine of the company and the job. Are any of the above important though and can’t you do it again?

2. Clarity of Thought

You need to create a safe space to “process” correctly. Walking, exercising, review time for both offers, subconscious time. Let your subconscious process this information, this is vital as it is the most “unfiltered” version of yourself and is ruthlessly honest.

The clock is ticking also so you need to give yourself a timeline for the decision. 2/3 days is ample time to analyse and decide on what is best for you.

3. The Why

You need to build out the reason “Why” you entered the process and also the reason for looking elsewhere (why you choose to put yourself in this position). These are the ingredients to the “Why” and are key factors when making your decision.

4. The Variables

You need to weigh up both offers. Yes, I put this last because I intend to frame your thinking correctly before you rush to see who offered more money. For example, was salary your main motivation for leaving the role in the first place? Although financial compensation is important, it is usually not the driving force behind changing roles at a mid to senior level. Numerous studies around ‘The Great Resignation of 2021’ have revealed that employees are leaving their roles in search of a better work/life balance, flexible work practices, positive and supportive cultures, and growth opportunities.

5. The Weightings

Now is the time to extract all the information in your head and make it digestible to make the correct decision

Map out against one another and weigh 1-5 (1 Very poor - 5 excellent):

  • Both companies
  • Career paths on offer
  • Flexibility
  • Work/life balance.
  • Offer v Offer (line by line analysis of what is on the table)
  • Whatever else you feel is important to you


Next, you need to build out and weigh “The Why”

  • Each “Why” reason should be weighted 1-5 also (1 not important - 5 very important). This is a critical time, to be honest with yourself when conducting this exercise.

After these weightings are complete you will already have started to lean towards the answer, the difference now though is it has been formed through a commitment to be honest and with clarity of thought.

“But what if I make the wrong decision?” It is time to be brave and back yourself. Every new opportunity offers growth, development, and experience.

Let me give you a story of a friend and candidate who I helped get a job in 2017, let’s call them Sam. Sam was working in a PLC and made the brave decision to join a well-funded start-up, even though they had a family, children, a mortgage, and a lot of responsibility. Unfortunately, the start-up only lasted a little under 2 years, and from some perspectives, this may have seemed like Sam made a mistake changing jobs.
Sam’s previous employers didn’t see it this way. The experience Sam gained throughout the two years at the start-up mirrored the experience the PLC needed for a new division they were building out. This experience positioned Sam perfectly for a new senior role and paid dividends in long term.

The moral of the story is to always do what you feel is best for you. New experiences need to be embraced and challenging yourself will always result in positive outcomes and further development.

Money is just one element of a job offer, and if you are following your passion and striving to be great at what you do, the money will follow you.

Finally, if you are nervous and not sure how to handle your resignation or rejection of the counteroffer, speak with us at Fortis Recruitment and we can support and guide you through the process.


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