Is This the Right Move?

While standing in line at The Bay over Christmas, a couple behind me were having a conversation about asking for a counter offer during a job resignation attempt.  I couldn’t help myself; I turned around and said “I’m a head hunter and I would advise against doing that”.

So, why not ask for a raise?

It’s the blackmail element you must avoid.  In your boss’s eye’s it is blackmail when you come to her/him with an offer from another company with which he/she must compete.

It may not seem that way – the boss may flatter you and tell you the company can’t go on without you.  Promises of promotions, or new projects will pop up.  Wow, but, should you have to resign to get these changes? It’s really just management doing its job to stabilize the situation in the short run, while they gets organized to shed you in the long run.


Reasons Not to Initiate a Counter Offer

  1. If you use this ransom style, it erodes the trust between you and your boss. This could have unwanted consequences related to the day-to-day atmosphere and your career progress/shelf life in that organization.
  2. Will more money change the fundamental reason why you went out to look for a new job in the first place? If you ignore that reason and accept a counter offer, the satisfaction will be short lived. Remember, they can’t change the company for one person.
  3. What is the motivation for your current company to match/exceed your other offer?

Perhaps you are on a mission critical project.  The raise is a band aid to keep you on the project until the end.  But, watch out once the project is over.

  1. You may find you are not assigned to projects that will enhance your skills or prove your capabilities to qualify you for promotion. The company knows you are dissatisfied and thus a risk to any key project.  The belief is that you may leave after the glow of the raise has faded. Why invest in you if you are on your way out?

Business Analyst

Sure, ask for a raise if you think you are underpaid, either related to others or because you feel you are doing an outstanding job and deserve a premium.

Do your research. Are you underpaid, by how much? What is an appropriate premium?  A good head hunter can tell you what the going rates are at the top and the bottom.

Approach your boss at a non-distracted time and explain why you believe you should get a raise.  If it goes well, super, if not you may gain insight into your performance perception, or you may just have to try to find a new job.  At least you gave it a shot.



Nadine is one of the original members and owners of Planet4IT, and has watched the company become something great.
She is the Chief Financial officer here, and her hard work ensures everything is kept in tip top shape.
Another role she has is to help companies find the top talent out there.
Her track record speaks for itself.
Nadine can be reached through email, or by calling Planet4IT



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