How to Negotiate Counteroffer After Landing a Job Offer

Last year, I made a video “Why you should not negotiate for salary.” In the video, you’ll find some ground rules and best strategies for negotiation, and, of course, the reasons why you should not negotiate for salary.

Today’s article is about negotiating counteroffers. Counteroffers create chaos in people’s decision-making process. The way people describe their mental state often reminds me of an abyss. You don’t know what it is. But all of a sudden, you are emotionally sucked in.

The absurd ocean in Tarkovsky’s Solaris movie: Executive Coaching | Career Coaching |
Given the new dynamics of a 3-party negotiation, the last thing you want to happen is to lose your rationality.

Detach Your Emotions From The Counteroffer

Most of us can keep calm and rational about a new job offer. Few can do so when facing a counteroffer. It’s natural: we are humans; we have a relationship with our current employer. But we can pay dearly for these emotions.

• When we are disappointed about a counteroffer, we tend to wrap up the ongoing negotiation for a new job offer way too quickly.

• When we are overjoyed with a counteroffer, we may forget the real reason we wanted to leave for something else.
Emotions are costly in negotiations.

A counteroffer is NOT an indicator of your worth.

A counteroffer is NOT exactly how much your employer appreciates you.

Don’t get me wrong; a counteroffer can reflect how much your employer appreciates you. Still, this appreciation can be exaggerated by how much they need you now or be limited by how many constraints they have on hand.

Not all appreciation is proportional: Executive Coaching | Career Coaching |
The final counteroffer emerges as the result of a multitude of factors. You are ready to negotiate when you can understand that and park your emotions at bay.

Negotiate Only When You Need To

I do not advocate “negotiation for the sake of negotiation.” Negotiation for something you do not need nor want is akin to greed. It wastes everyone’s time and resources and can damage relationships. You might take pride in being a “successful” and skillful negotiator, but the after-taste of dealing with you may not be enjoyable.
If you are determined to leave regardless of a counteroffer, politely decline it. Or if the counteroffer is better than great, we have no reason to negotiate further.
Only negotiate if you have a good reason. Broadly, there are two valid reasons:

• You are open to staying, but the current salary is below the market. In this case, the negotiation is to do justice to your value.

• You are open to staying, but there’s a superb offer elsewhere, giving you a pay rise and a higher position plus other good things. In this case, the negotiation is to do justice to your opportunity cost.

We usually only start counteroffer negotiation after getting a concrete offer outside? Is it a good approach? Think again.

To Begin Negotiating, You Don’t Have to Resign.

Here’s the conventional process which I will call the “Resignation” approach: 1. we interview with the new company; 2. get a job offer; 3. negotiate and finalize the offer in complete detail; 4. inform our current employer with a resignation; 5. sometimes, a counteroffer gets triggered.

When I was a headhunter, I used to tell my candidates, “NEVER resign until you get the offer letter signed.” Thanks to fellow headhunters and myself, most people know it by heart today. It still holds — if you want to resign, you better make sure you have a place to go.

Negotiate, don’t resign: Executive Coaching | Career Coaching |

Need a Salary Correction? Ask Your Current Employer First

Bridge your negotiation gap: Executive Coaching | Career Coaching |

How To Manage Relationships When Negotiating

1. Be Reasonable: Always stand on a solid ground of why you are asking for more.

2. Respect Constraints: If they really can’t bend something just for you, respect it.

3. Don’t Haggle Everything: Focus on the critical piece of what you want, and go after that.

4. Provide Clarity: “I don’t yet know what my salary expectation is” also gives clarity.

5. Be Gentle but Firm: Your tone and attitude to be gentle while your message to be firm.

Team Coaching Yolanda Yu Organizational Development
Team Coaching Yolanda Yu Organizational Development

The Best Decisions Are Made Before Offers

• A bottom line below which I will walk away

• A moderate line which will make me happy

• What matters to me the most in just any job

Follow me on LinkedIn here. More career-related videos are available on my YouTube channel.

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Empowering Change From Within

Career & Leadership Coach, Start-up Mentor, and two-time Penguin Author, Yolanda has over 20 years’ corporate experience and served leadership positions in world top technology companies such as Alibaba, Visa, and Mastercard.

From software engineer to sales, headhunter, entrepreneur, to business leader in eCommerce and Fintech industries, Yolanda reinvented her career for countless times. She specializes in tailored coaching programs for professionals in the phases of career change and leadership transition.

Yolanda is particularly passionate about equipping technical leaders with leadership skills. She delivers leadership 101 courses through group coaching and 1:1 engagement.