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Counteroffer and resignation

Congratulations on your new challenge! Changing employers provides the opportunity to continue to grow, gain new perspectives and contacts while challenging yourself to reach your full potential. At the same time, resignation is something that most people find difficult, especially as we develop close relationships with our colleagues. There are two types of resignation: written and verbal. Some companies require written resignation even if it was communicated verbally. In both cases, it is important to make the best possible exit so as not to close any future opportunities.

Written resignation

We can provide you with sample resignation letters and there are also several examples readily available online. In short, a resignation letter should contain the following:

– Your name, date and the person you are addressing the letter to.
– A short paragraph confirming your resignation.
– The date on which the resignation is to take effect and your signature.

If you are leaving the company on a good note, make sure to emphasize only the positive, such as thanking the company and your manager for the opportunities you have been given. If you want to avoid further discussions, you can add to the letter that it was not an easy decision to make but that you have decided to do so and hope that it will be respected.

Verbal resignation

There are two aspects to resignation, the emotional and the tactical part. On the emotional part, you have built a relationships with your colleagues and it can be difficult to tell them and your boss that you are leaving. The tactical part relates to the fact that you are an asset to the company and that leaving will have negative business consequences.

Here are some aspects that you can prepare for:
– Expect to be asked for more information such as which company you are going to, what position you will have, how much they offered in salary, etc. Think about what you want to share and stick to it. Also think about how you can politely convey that you don’t want to go into details because your decision has been made and you want that to be respected.
– Expect that you will get a reaction. Your manager will soon have to think about what they need to do to replace you and train your successor. The reaction is likely to involve several different emotions at the same time.
– Expect it to be nervous. Changing jobs is always a big step, but remember why you were considering a new role in the first place and the positive aspects it will have on your career.
– Expect a counteroffer. The most common counteroffer is a financial one. Your boss will be thinking about the costs and time it will take for them to replace you.


Your boss will consider whether your resignation increases the risk that more colleagues will leave, and the affect on how your manager is judged in their leadership role. The easiest way to save the situation is money and the most common question is almost always “what are they offering you?”. If you reveal what offer you have received, it is almost guaranteed that your offer will be matched or raised. If you don’t want to stay with your current employer, it is best not to reveal the offer. That way, you avoid frustrating your boss if you turn down their counteroffer. You are also showing integrity, which makes it easier to continue building a relationship for the future.

Another kind of counteroffer is the emotional one, which can allude to the difficulties your resignation puts the company in: How can you leave your team right now when there is such a heavy workload? It is worth bearing in mind that there is probably never a perfect time to leave. If you were idle in the company, you would probably be dismissed due to lack of work. The emotional ties with the company and your colleagues are natural and important but should not determine your career decisions and you are likely to build close relationships with colleagues at your new employer. Finally, a counteroffer can also be a new role or a promotion. Unfortunately, these roles tend to not meet expectations as they are created in a hurry. More often than not, these positions are neither well thought out nor anchored in the organization.

Exit nicely

A good exit benefits you and your employer. When resigning, avoid overreacting to an overreaction. Showing a good work ethic and a positive attitude even during the exit period will give you a good reputation in the job market and open up future opportunities. Bear in mind that even your boss, who is currently disappointed that you are leaving, is likely to move on if interesting opportunities arise. They may be in a position to recruit you in the future.

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