Articles From the Team

Should I accept the counter offer?

Great news, the firm would like to make you an offer to join the team. After going through a gruelling interview process, you have done it, the job is yours! All that’s left to do is to inform your current employer and hand in your notice. For the majority of candidates, this comes as welcome news, however for those who haven’t been in this situation before – this can prove to be the trickiest part of the process.

It is likely that your current firm will attempt to convince you to reconsider and ask you to refrain from handing your notice in. It would be senseless of your current employer to not ask you to stay – They will have to go to all the trouble and cost of hiring someone, embedding them into the business and most importantly taking the risk that the new person isn’t as good as you. This convincing can take several forms, the most obvious being an increase in your current salary. Salary is rarely the only reason for a lawyer seeking to move jobs. Issues such as personality clashes, limited career progression opportunities, change in family circumstances and breadth of the role all play a key part. Therefore, it is important that you explore what can be done within your current organisation to rectify these issues, before considering an increased salary. Though an increase in 10% of your salary is always welcome (and may even be more than the offer you have just received) what else has really changed and is it worth ignoring the reasons why you originally sought a move away?

It would be wise to re-visit and flesh out your motivation behind seeking a moving away. You will no doubt be promised the world now that you are sought after and your current firm are at risk of losing you. So how likely is it that these promises will be acted upon? And more importantly why was it to necessary to secure an offer elsewhere to be offered the desired opportunities at your current firm? It is important to address why your organisation let it get to the stage of you handing in your notice before something was done, and can they be trusted to follow through on these promises that are made in the panic of trying to retain you!

Furthermore, you need to ask yourself that in a small recruitment market how might this affect your reputation in the longer term and is it worth burning the bridge with the new firm? If you decide to stay, the new firm will not be best pleased to be rejected at this stage, given your optimism and desire to join up until this point. Nearly three quarters of counter offers fail within the first 12 month and should you find yourself in a similar situation 6 months down the line, it is highly unlikely that they would be willing to afford you the same opportunity again.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and are unsure of how to manage this, most crucial, part of the process, please contact BCL Legal or call 0845 241 0933 for a private and confidential chat.

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