Should I stay or should I go?

About the same time this article came out, I was at a party chatting with a friend (lets call him Chris), who told me he was in “stealth interview mode” with a prospective employer. A friend of his had put him forward for a similar position they had available at her company.

Pleased that he was exploring other options I asked Chris, why was he looking elsewhere?
Chris said he was keen to see if the grass was greener on the other side of the fence, and was considering using any offers he got to re-negotiate a better deal with his current company.

I’ve only seen a few instances where the “blackmail’ approach has worked in the employees favor, and I’ve seen it go disastrously wrong for others. Lets ignore those stupid enough to try the blackmail approach without having an offer and were subsequently let go immediately, or were “worked-out” very quickly afterward.

These two articles (here and here) from Career journal, and this from Bill Vick, take the view a counter-offer is done with the companies interests in mind rather than the employees, and not much really changes for the employee afterward anyway.

All show how announcing your resignation changes the dynamic of your relationship with your boss and your employer, and rarely for the better. And lets not forget the wider impact of how you will be viewed by the recruiter (if there was one) and the new employer, both of whom have invested a lot and potentially lost a lot more.

For Chris, my advice was if you don’t think your being treated fairly by your current employer, you need to approach them directly with this and figure out a way to resolve the issues. If you can’t resolve the issues, you now have the choice to accept what you have or leave. Don’t try and work the gray area in between, it’s costly and rarely ends in a win-win solution.
If, after a lot of thinking and soul searchng, you decide to leave then your decision about any counter-offers etc. has already been made.