Dear JT and Dale: I have a new job offer in hand with generous compensation. My current employer would like to make me a counter offer. Do I have to participate and share the compensation offered to me? Or should I say it’s non-negotiable and I’m moving to a new organization? —Trina
JT: Numerous studies show that if you negotiate with your current employer to stay, they are likely to let you go within 18 months. Now that they know you wanted to leave and can only keep you by increasing your salary, they feel held hostage. So that usually leads to your eventual departure. My advice is to say that you are honored that they want to counter, but that you really feel that the new opportunity will help you grow and, if so, may better prepare you to one day return to your current employer with new skills. It’s the smartest way to leave on good terms if you don’t like the new place.
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VALLEY: Not so fast. I understand the dangers of staying and therefore of sowing the seed of future resentment, but what if you could deny that? The seed of resentment is planted because managers tend to think of their employees as a team or a family, and knowing that you are sneaking up behind their backs, the search for a new team/family becomes a nagging doubt about your loyalty. That’s why you might say something to your managers like, “I love working with you and I didn’t think I was leaving, but this offer came to me and it’s a great offer. So I don’t know what to do. I like the team, but it seems like a big break. Your management may respond by saying, “We’ve got a great promotion planned for you, and we’d like you to stay and take it.” Then you have the choice between two offers. Be open, but ask yourself this question: where will you be in two years in each company? Follow the energy.
Jeanine “JT” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is the founder of The Innovators’ Lab and the author of an HR novel, “The Weary Optimist”. Please visit them at jtanddale.comwhere you can email questions or write to them c/o King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.