Good day all.

First things, the interview series is worth every penny. Studying the content provided helped nail down a new position that came up. Anyone on the fence regarding that product, don't hesitate if it is something that you are considering.

So, I tendered my resignation (according to the way recommended by MT!) and a day later I received a counter. I'll flesh out the scenario to provide you the situation I'm in.

I really disliked the position I held at my current company for a long time due to stress and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn't enjoying things and it was really negatively impacting my self esteem. It didn't get to the point where I was distributing my resume on job boards, but I had a date in mind when I would aggresively pursue a change of scenery. Through my brother in law I was made aware of a job opening in the company he works at, its a major financial instituation. I submitted my resume and after a couple of interviews I received the offer. It is a lateral move (money is the same), but it releases me of a 24/7 365 on call roll and there is an extra week of vacation...also a very happy wife that I'm not bound to my phone at all hours.

So the day after I submitted my resignation, I was approached by our CEO and many people at the VP level and made a counter offer.

-25% increase in pay.
-They are moving me from an operational role to a consultative role (told point blank - NO on call duties period) - I had let them know that the operational role was something that I was no longer holding since I was burnt out and did not want any on call responsibilities.
-Shares in the company (its privately held currently and only a handful of people have shares right now).

Also I work with a close friend in the company, someone that I have worked with before and I would be reunited with him in the new role. It has been made abundantly clear that they really want to keep me ( I have a great deal of respect for our CEO and it was very difficult resigning to him in the first place ).

Some other points...

Close family doesn't really believe the promises that are being made so they prefer I up and leave.

The companies are drastically different, one of the people giving me advice said it comes down to how risk averse I am and how dynamic of an environment I want to be in...

Is it ethical to accept and sign an offer only to bail out before the start date (currently three weeks away)

I told my current employers that I will let them know my decision on Monday.

So with the above spattering of comments, any advice??

PS - I love manager tools, thank you so much to Mike and Mark for all that you do!

TomW's picture
Training Badge

Nothing you say here makes me think you would be better off if you stay with your current company and everything here sounds like you would be better off somewhere else.

The company you were at could have done all this for you at any time. They waited until they almost lost you, indicating that they are not exactly looking to develop you as much as possible. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

If you accept the shares in your current company, you will always be the shareholder who was named just to keep you from leaving. The reason to name a shareholder is because you want to promote them to a senior management position. If they really wanted you as a shareholder, you'd already be one. You would also be really hitching your horse to their wagon. If the company goes down the toilet, so do you. Not to mention other potential shareholders who you just leapfrogged over and will resent you now.

If you accept the new job, signed the letter, and then bail, that could hurt you in the future. It looks really bad. In fact, I think I'd say it makes you look like you can't (a) make a decision and/or (b) hold your ground on a decision you've made. Neither one is good. It tells your current employer as much as the new one. If you stay, your fellow shareholders WILL remember that you tried to leave once and question your loyalty to the company.

Accepting a counter offer from a company you've already made the decision to leave rarely works out well. From listening to the Interview series, you've heard that before. You interviewed in a new place, decided you would be happier in the new position, and decided it was enough to make you leave your current position.

Is a lot more money and a shareholder position enough to change that for you? You know nothing about the new position at your current company. You never researched it or interviewed for it. Would you actually be happier in that new role than your current one? Or would it be worse?

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge


when I worked in an agency we told people never ever to accept a counter offer. There are a myriad of reasons against it; the most compelling of which for me was always: cost of recruiting your replacement - at least a year's salary. Have they offered you that much? No. Counter offer if accepted, financially beneficial to the company. So do they care about you or the bottom line?

However, you can go through the logics as much as you like, but it was legend that the people who accepted counter offers would be back in less than a year. And they always were.

I hope that helps.


HMac's picture

M - On Monday you thank your current company very much for the offer, wish them the best in the future, and continue with your move.

[quote]I really disliked the position I held at my current company for a long time due to stress and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn't enjoying things and it was really negatively impacting my self esteem.[/quote]

A counteroffer is not a light at the end of tunnel. Nor will it have a positive longterm impact on your self-esteem.

Listen to the people who love you (not us! your family!) :lol:

tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge


when I worked in an agency we told people never ever to accept a counter offer. Wendii[/quote]

I'm with Wendii. It is generally a bad idea to accept a counter offer.

mpwn's picture

Wow, thank you so much to everyone who has replied. So far everyone who is not affiliated with the company has recommended looking forward and not back.

arun's picture


You must have joined the new company by now. Interested in your initial thoughts about your move.

mpwn's picture

It was definitely the right move to make. Since joining my quality of life has dramatically improved. I admit to being extremely tempted to take the counter, but looking back and now realizing the difference it has made really makes me appreciate the decision. Many new skills and experiences to go through at the new place and I'm looking forward to all of them.

I am still in touch with a lot of the folks at the old co and have been keeping a very minimal awareness of what is happening there and am glad to be away from that culture for now. I do have sympathy for those having a rough go at the old place but I suppose we all have our own paths to walk down.