Should I take the offer or the counteroffer?

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: December 6, 2011

Q. I've recently been offered a position in another company making $6,000 more than I earn now. When I gave notice, my current employer came back the next day and matched the prospective employer's offer. I called the prospective employer and said, "My current employer offered me more money to stay. Would you consider upping the pay a little to get me?" Now, I've already accepted the prospective employer's first offer. Did I do the right thing?

A. The trick with counteroffers is that nagging sensation that if they could afford to pay you more, why didn't they?

But even if you're satisfied with your company's reasons for extending the counteroffer, you have to ask yourself why you're leaving. If it's because of money, then go with the company that is willing to pay you more. However, if you're looking for other benefits - vacation time, incentive pay, health benefits, career development - think about whether your potential employer can offer you those things. List all the cash and noncash compensation you currently receive, and compare it with what your potential employer is offering you.

If the entire compensation package your potential employer is offering you outweighs what you receive from your current employer, then I probably would accept their offer. On the other hand, if your current employer offers a number of compensation programs that your potential employer can't offer, then I would think twice about leaving your current employer.

Remember, there is more to your salary than base pay, so think about your entire compensation package.

Good luck.

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