This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ data science & analytics recruiting team.
As most of you reading this are probably very aware, the analytics hiring market is active. With more companies developing their quantitative teams, the number of opportunities for analytics professionals has increased – you’re in demand! – so why do some professionals, when searching for a new job, still feel compelled to take a counter offer and stay with their current company instead of branching out?
It’s a story we’ve heard numerous times: a quantitative professional is looking to broaden their experience, but when they find a new opportunity they’re really excited about and go to hand in their notice, the current company extends a “counter offer” usually an increase in salary, a bonus, or even change in job title to entice them to stay. Then, lo and behold, in 1-2 months they’re either out the door or fired because nothing changed, or they get cut in 4-6 months when there’s a round of restructuring or layoffs.
Despite numerous articles on the subject of not taking a counter offer, some professionals still feel compelled to take them. We thought it might be helpful to take a look at some of the reasons why these offers feel so tempting – and things to keep in mind when evaluating them.
Why Counter Offers are Tempting
- You feel like you’re deserting the team
- You feel loyalty towards your boss
- Your company is promising you a great package if you stay
- Staying in your comfort zone/easy to stay put
- Current company promises new and exciting scope of work
Keep in Mind
1. There is a reason you were looking for a new job.
Are you looking to learn more Python but the team head insists everyone has to use SAS? Were you looking at getting experience in a different industry? Did you want to join the fast-paced nature of a startup, or join the relative security of a legacy corporation? Whatever it was, there’s a reason you started looking for a new job in the first place, and a salary bump rarely addresses that underlying reason.
2. Will this company or team be able to change for you?
Or, maybe in addition to the salary bump your boss addresses your other concerns and assures you that you will get more responsibility, or vacation time, or that management position, etc. But be honest with yourself about whether this is really a change that can be made. In our experience, there may sometimes be a temporary change to address the issue, but it usually comes back.
3. Don’t base your decision on people.
You may feel attached to your current team or loyalty to your current boss, but you have no way of knowing how long that team dynamic will last. We’ve heard many stories from professionals who accepted a counter offer because they liked working under their current boss, only to find out a week later that their boss had already been in the process of leaving. Keep your own priorities in mind.
When you announce an intention to leave, you’ve signaled to your employer that you aren’t happy. So even if you accept a counter offer, they will now be looking at you as someone with one foot out the door, and you may be first on the chopping block when cutbacks are made. Only now, you’ll most likely have missed out on the opportunity from your original job search and will have to start back at square one.
5. Where is the money coming from?
If you’re being offered a salary bump or a bonus in your counter offer, this money may be coming in lieu of a promotion because (see point #4) the company may hesitate to promote someone whom they deem a flight risk.
So think carefully when considering a counter offer!
Make sure to weigh the pros and cons and make sure it’s the best decision for you. This should be a long-term decision and not something that is a temporarily fix. Last but not least…
6. Think long-term, not short-term.
Accepting a counter-offer usually means you’re placing short-term priorities (more money, more benefits, etc.) over long-term career strategy, like career growth, management responsibilities, learning new skills, etc. As we mentioned in point #1, there is probably a reason you were looking in the first place, and if you carefully evaluated your long-term strategy and thought that it was time to leave, then you need to trust your instincts.
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