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Never forget why you decided to quit

Published on Thursday, 31 Mar 2011

It is increasingly common for employers to make counter offers to convince good staff not to resign. The counter offer can include several different elements. There may be a straight salary increase, improved company benefits, the promise of promotion, or a new job title.

Depending on circumstances, the enticement to stay might also involve additional responsibilities, a redefined role, or the chance to work on different, more interesting projects.

But whatever is on the table, employees should keep a clear head. It is important to step back and consider the options carefully.

There is rarely a good reason to accept a counter offer and stay where you are, however. Before resigning, you will have assessed your prospects, applied for vacancies, and probably found a job elsewhere that meets your current criteria. So, your decision to leave was made long ago.

If you are tempted by the counter offer, it therefore pays to reflect on what caused you to resign in the first place. Consider too if things would really change and whether the employer would handle issues differently in future.

You might also wonder why a salary increase and other changes only came in the counter offer and not earlier. If you decide to stay, such thoughts will continue to affect your outlook and motivation. Besides that, despite reassurances, you may also have to work extremely hard to win back your employer's trust and prove your loyalty.

Emma Charnock, regional director, Hays Hong Kong and China

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