Community Perspectives: What do I do with competing in-house offers from my current and prospective employers?

An anonymous In-house Fishbowl community member received an offer from a company and then received a counter-offer from their current employer. Here's what the community said.

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Community Perspectives: What do I do with competing in-house offers from my current and prospective employers?

A Legal Counsel in the in-house fishbowl asked: 

I got a job offer from what it seems a great company this week. It seems like a great fit, the comp package is so good. I had great conversations with both recruiter and members of the legal team. I am very excited, however when I told my current employer they counter-offered the other company. Now I don’t know what to do. It’s such a difficult decision. On the one hand I do want to leave my current job due to a myriad of reasons but on the other Im afraid I might be making a mistake. Advice?

A GC replied:

  • "Staying because of a counteroffer rarely works out. Before long the extra comp won’t matter and you will be looking again. Take the new position."

The VP Legal at another company noted:

  • "You made the choice to look for other employment instead of just asking for a raise. It’s not a money question. I say leave. If you take the money, you’ll be right back where you are now but with the company trusting you less"

Several associate attorneys responded:

  • "EXACT same boat. Was the toughest decision but I’m in my notice period right now. I had already mentally checked-out before any new factors played a role, so while I thought SUPER hard about it I ultimately pulled the trigger. If it was the wrong call, was the wrong call and I’ll learn. I was unhappy and money dangling made me reconsider for sure, but I had to look beyond that."
  • "Thanks for posting this! I’m in a similar position. Made a decision to lateral from a pretty toxic firm environment to a different firm with a culture that I think will be a better fit. Super difficult because I like a lot of the people at my current firm and felt valued and they made a very strong counteroffer but I keep going back to the reasons I’m leaving and I know they will not change. The fear of going somewhere new is definitely strong too but I don’t think that fear of that unknown is a good reason to stay somewhere that is comfortable but kind of miserable. It’s been really helpful to read these responses!"
  • If you want to leave your job for a myriad of reasons, why stay? I know change can be hard, but you were looking for a reason. Unless you saw major red flags for the new company, I'd definitely go. Also, check out askamanager.org for her advice on counteroffers - generally they're not a good idea.

Other in-house counsel chimed in:

  • "Take the other job. Your current employer will just see you as a liability/flight risk moving forward. Trust has been lost"
  • "Ditto all of the responses. If it were only money, it would be an easy decision but there is likely other reasons you decided to look elsewhere in the first place. Does the difference in pay compensate those reasons?"
  • "I had a similar situation, except I didn’t really want to leave my current job other than for compensation reasons and the counteroffer was good and I took it. Been there 15 months since and still going strong. However, if you have so many other reasons you want to leave and the new job sounds as good as it does, I would say you should take it."