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The One Thing You Should NEVER Do When Resigning From A Job

When it comes to resignation tips, most pointers are common knowledge: resign amicably and in person, give adequate notice, and remain professional throughout the process. However, there is one little known guideline that could make a big difference for your future, and you might be surprised to find out what it is. I’m talking about counteroffers, and why you should never accept one.

Let’s be honest here. If you felt compelled to talk to your boss about resigning, odds are this was not an impulsive decision. You’ve sat with this idea for a while. Maybe the commute is way too long, or maybe you’ve just received a better offer. It’s possible that you felt your skills were undervalued. Whatever the case, the bottom line is this:

You already had reasons for wanting to quit.

A salary increase doesn’t change that, and neither does a bigger office or a better schedule. Whatever led you to make this decision was likely more significant than any new perk your employer is offering, and your resignation is not unfounded. In other words, it’s unlikely you would leave the familiarity of your current job without good reason.

Agreeing to stay might just mean delaying the inevitable.

It’s a band-aid solution that rarely works out in the long-run. In fact, studies show that 80% of people who accept counter offers from their employers end up leaving within six months or are terminated – within six to 12 months. And half of those who accept counter-offers realize within 90 days that they really do want to leave after all.

You should also assess your employers motives for making a counteroffer, because the action might be intended as a cost-saving measure. Hiring someone to replace you takes time and money, often time and money that your employer may not have the desire or willingness to expend at the moment. Sometimes it’s just easier for your boss to make a counteroffer while he/she finds a replacement, which turns you into collateral damage.

Moreover, if a pay increase is your biggest incentive to stay, it’s important to consider why they didn’t just pay you this amount in the first place. A counteroffer does not mean the work you do is suddenly worth more; it’s just a matter of convenience.

The salary increase you are being offered now is what you should have been offered prior to resigning.

By this point, it is likely you have tried to negotiate salary increases with your boss already, maybe even after a stellar performance review, and those requests were effectively denied. If a raise is your employer’s last resort, it’s likely a cost-saving tactic for the time being, and you should have been valued this much from the start.

Moreover, it’s important to consider the repercussions of staying at your job after you discussed quitting. Your decision to resign (even if it was rescinded) will inevitably breed some distrust between you and your boss.

Discussing resignation can potentially call into question your loyalty to the company (and by extension, your employer).

Even if you don’t follow through with your resignation, the fact that you brought it to your employer’s attention shows that you’ve already got one foot out the door. This alerts your boss that it might be time to start looking for a replacement just in case, and if they happen to find someone more qualified or less costly, it’s not a hard call for them to make anymore.  Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that a counteroffer does not resolve the underlying issue that led you to resign in the first place.

If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: once you resign–go! Remind yourself what made you want to leave and hold on to that feeling. Stick to the plan and move on. Don’t accept that counteroffer. Under any circumstance. Ever.

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),

The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.

At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.


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