Your stomach? Been there, done that. It didn’t work, don’t do it again.
Conscience: “You really shouldn’t be doing this. It didn’t work before, why would it work the second time?”
You: “Well, let’s give it another go. Maybe things will be different this time. We have to make sure that they are. It will all work out fine.”
Some of us have experienced this in our personal lives, others may have experienced it in our professional lives – there are even a few poor souls out there who experience this loop over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Just as returning to an ex-partner is often ill-advised, accepting a counter offer from your company after you have resigned is equally bad judgement. It is universally recognised that once you have decided to leave a company, there is no going back. No amount of persuasion, financial incentive or extra management responsibility should be able to persuade you otherwise.
However, it is ever so easy to be lured into the emotional trap. After the last few months of hell in your company, culminating in your resignation, suddenly they are being nice to you again, telling you how essential you are and how they can’t do without you. This is designed to make you think twice, and it plants a seed of doubt in all but the strongest of minds.
You never knew that they cared about you so much? Well, I’ll let you into a secret - they don’t. Just as a shocked partner might insist that they “really love you” at the point of no return, so might a company do anything to persuade you to stay, at least until they have found a suitable replacement.
89% of people that accept a counter-offer leave within the next year. You have broken the bond of trust and, like a jilted partner, the company will very seldom forgive. Once a trust is broken, it will never be fully restored. Nagging doubts will always linger.
So, when you resign, be resolute in your intentions. Do it in writing. Don’t enter into discussions about a potential rethink. Be consistent in what you tell management and your colleagues. You are moving on; it happens all the time, such is life. Don’t let it get personal, remain professional and make a smooth transition to your next role. You’ll be respected as someone that knows their own mind, and you won’t be burning any bridges.
The decision to leave part of your life behind is never an easy one. Embarking into an unknown future is a far more difficult path than keeping the status quo.
Yes, making a change is risky. However, how much riskier are the consequences of deciding to stay?
Written by Lee Narraway
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