With the unemployment rate holding steady at record lows and job openings near record highs, there has never been a better time to explore job opportunities, especially if your current position is less than stellar.

However, since losing a valuable employee in this competitive job market can be way more costly than hiring a new one, it’s common for a counter-offer to be extended to incentivize you to stay.

Now comes the difficult part. Should you accept your employer’s counter-offer, or move on as planned?

It’s tempting to accept a counter offer for a variety of reasons:

You won’t have to give up the familiarity and security of a job you’ve had for years
You won’t have to learn the dynamics of a new work environment
You’d be getting more money (for the meantime)

But there are things you need to consider first:

There’s a reason you were job searching and interviewing elsewhere in the first place.
Does more money or a better benefits package fix the problem you had to begin with? A little raise and a better title might make you happy for a second, but does that address the real issues?

Your boss won’t forget and the other company won’t either.
Your boss will be relieved that you opted to stay, but they won’t forget you were looking to leave. On the other hand, you will also completely burn the bridge with the company whose offer you declined.

Your future career.
Think about the big picture. Clarify the details of the counter-offer. Will you get more responsibility? If not, will your current company offer you the same long-term personal career development as moving to a new role? From an advancement perspective, you may be better taking a new role that can offer you the progression you are looking for, which may have not been offered in your current role.

You know your work situation better than anyone, but don’t jump into a decision without considering the consequences. Our advice – take the job where there is room to grow and where they’ll pay you what you’re worth from the beginning.

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