(Address, city, state, zip code)
Dear (employer's name),
I greatly appreciate everything you have done for me as an employee at (organization's name). I have truly enjoyed working with you and representing the facility as your (title).
At this time however, I have accepted an offer with another organization and have decided to submit my resignation. This decision was not an easy one, and involved many hours of thoughtful consideration of my plans for the future. I hope you will respect my desires to move forward in my career, and know that this in no way reflects the opportunity I have been given here.
I intend to work diligently in finishing up the projects I am currently working on and hope to help make this a smooth transition.
I wish (Organization) the best and continued success. Again, I wish to thank you for allowing me to be part of you team and for the invaluable lessons I have learned here. Please feel free to contact me at any time to help with the transition.
- You can vary this according to your personal experience. If you need assistance composing a letter, feel free to ask one of our representatives to help you.
Now that you have resigned, your current employer decides they don’t want to lose you… you get a counteroffer. It is very tempting, so now what?
Your resignation didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. Your boss is upset and presents you with a counteroffer. A counteroffer is the attempt by your employer to persuade you to stay. It can be a raise, or promotion, or even just a change in title with a promise of a raise in the near future.
This is a scary time for you, the fear of the unknown at the new organization may entice you to want to accept the new terms and stay with your current employer. You know this facility and staff well, and it might seem easier to just stay with what is familiar to you.
You should not let this desire to stay in a comfort zone lull you into security or cloud your judgment. Ask yourself again what made you decide to pursue this new opportunity? If this new opportunity is a positive step towards advancing your career, and is better than your current position, you should proceed with your decision. Familiarity will come sooner than you think. It’s like the dreaded first day of school… by the second day you already wonder what you were so nervous about!
Why do most employers make counteroffers? Some never do, and other organizations do it regularly. There are many considerations into why a facility offers one, but some of the big ones are:
To keep morale high—your resignation will cause the department you are in to feel a loss. They might feel your absence could derail a current project, lead to overworking those who are left behind, or even something as simple as mess up someone’s vacation schedule.
It is “cheaper” to give you a small bonus or raise than to go into the job field and hire a recruiter, pay the fee to hire someone and even possibly have to pay someone a higher salary than you got.
You need to beware of this tactic. Your employer may only be stalling. By “buying you back” they have also bought some extra time to finish that project, or reorganize your department and find a replacement for you (now that they know you have a desire to leave).
They will flatter you, making the counteroffer seem enticing. “Wow, we had no idea you felt this way. We have some great opportunities ahead for you that were confidential. However, in light of this I could probably tell you we were going to offer you a raise at your next review, and maybe even a promotion!” You may even detect a veiled threat that if you don’t accept their offer, you will be committing corporate suicide.
However, most counteroffers don’t work. Why? For many reasons, but here a couple:
Trust. Your parents told you once you broke their trust it would be hard to earn it back. If you thought they were tough cookies, they are nothing compared to your boss. No matter what they tell you, you have broken their trust, and you will forever be a “marked” employee. Employers and co-workers have much longer memories than your parents did, and they will have no problem letting you go in the future if the department needs downsizing.
You will be overlooked in the future if you don’t get fired or replaced. You have let the organization know that your position with them is tenuous—that you aren’t happy. If you get a bonus, raise, or promotion now, you can almost guarantee that will be it for a long, long time.
Your reasons for wanting to leave the organization haven’t changed and will resurface soon. Your opportunity for this career step forward will have expired, and you never know when another one will come along.
So what do you do? Prepare yourself in advance for this situation. Avoid any misunderstandings by presenting your resignation in writing, including specific dates so that you know exactly when your last day is and so do they. Always be courteous and professional, but firm. You don’t need to explain why you are leaving. Simply tell them it is an opportunity you can’t pass up. Offer them help with the transition, but don’t lead them to believe you might stay after all.
Final thoughts on counteroffers:
Do you think you’ll have to threaten to quit every time you want a raise or decent attention at your job? What type of organization is it if you have to do that before they give you what you are worth?
Where is the money for your raise coming from? Is it a scheduled bonus just early? (Meaning there won’t be more later)
Your boss might start looking for someone to replace you for a lower salary and find a reason to fire you.
Cutbacks start with you, promotions will end at you. Employers remember who was loyal.
Your relationship with co-workers (the familiarity) will never be the same once they know you wanted to quit. They will wonder if you don’t like them, and shut you out to protect themselves.
Statistics show that most people who accept counteroffers are not with their company within a year of that time.