Decision to Reject a Counter Offer

So – I have decided to leave my company of 4 ½ years.  It was a difficult decision, as any decision is to leave your company is.  I really have enjoyed working with the various teams that I have been involved with.  The main driving force was a greater need to connect with people locally.  I currently work out of a remote office in Dallas, with the rest of my team being in Chicago, but I enjoy the atmosphere of working with a local team and being able to informally discuss issues and connect at a more personal level.

The problem – I submit my resignation, and within a day, I receive a counter offer.  I won’t go into the specifics of what they offered me, but suffice it to say that I began to wonder if it wouldn’t be worth my while to stay for another year or two. 

I write this post to explain to others and remind myself of why I decided to stick with my decision to leave my current employer.

1.  It’s all a mirage.

The offer from my current employer only really existed the moment that I put my resignation in.  Therefore, it’s really just an illusion.  I can’t rationalize or try to get myself to believe that these two options were going to exist at the time of my initial decision.  It was flattering, though.

2.  Potential Problems

I did all of the online research I could to see if accepting a counter offer was legitimate.  Most information that I gathered suggested that it would not be a good idea, because 99% of the time the employee is gone within 6-12 months either because the original issue was not addressed by the counter offer or the employer replaced the person since they were disloyal.  And most posts mentioned that it was an unethical move.

3.   Integrity is at issue.

The moment that I began to entertain accepting the counter offer, I began to feel wrong inside.  Although I agreed with all of the information I found online, that wasn’t what was really eating at me.  I felt that I was wronging the company that I had said, “yes,” to.  They would have to start their search all over again.  That didn’t feel right.  I couldn’t face myself in the mirror if I felt that I had done something to hurt someone.

4.   Spiritual

And finally, as I lay in bed at night, I found myself crying out to God to give me wisdom.  I wanted to make sure that whatever I chose to do, it was what the Lord thought was right.  And at 2:00 am in the morning, the day before I rejected the counter offer, a verse came to my mind that I had not read for over 6 months:  “Who swears to his own hurt, and does not change…”  This is part of a larger passage of scripture in Psalms chapter 15, where King David asks “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?  Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”  And the list that follows explains the qualities of one who can fellowship with the Lord.  And keeping promises must be high on His list. 

I couldn’t deny the voice of God.  Accepting a counter offer was wrong not only because it isn’t real, it might potentially cause me harm, and it might damage my reputation with others.  It might also cause harm to my neighbor – or in this case, my future employer.  I couldn’t do that with a good conscience.  It would keep me from fellowshipping with the One whom I don’t want to miss out on.