Career Choice )
Ideas and Insights for Serious Minded Professionals Volume 7 Issue 9
in this issue
  • Counteroffer Acceptance
  • In the News
  • Motivational Quotes
  • Chuckle of the Month
  • Job Of The Month
  • How Can I Get From 'Stuck' To 'Unstuck' In My Career?

  • Dear Larry,

    Welcome to Career Choice, a monthly newsletter that offers serious minded professionals ideas and insights in achieving their career goals.

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    Larry Barlow

    Counteroffer Acceptance

    Road to Career Ruin

    Last month I wrote an article on how to resign because unfortunately there are many wrong ways to leave a job. After resigning you may be faced with the temptation of accepting a counter offer from your soon to be departed employer. In the eight years of recruiting I have only seen two instances where accepting a counter offer actually worked out. Why?? I believe that Paul Hawkinson, a former recruiter described it best when he wrote an outstanding article on the pitfalls of accepting a counter offer for the National Business Employment Weekly. Below is a reprint of that article.

    Reprinted from the National Business Employment Weekly
    From the publishers of the Wall Street Journal: Dow Jones & Company Inc.
    By Paul Hawkinson

    Mathew Henry, the 17th-century writer said, "Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in fine colours that are but skin deep The same can be said for counteroffers, those magnetic enticements designed to lure you back into the nest after you've decided it's time to fly away.

    The litany of horror stories I've come across in my years as an executive recruiter, consultant and publisher provides a litmus test that clearly indicates counteroffers should never be accepted ... EVER!

    I define a counteroffer simply as an inducement from your current employer to get you to stay after you've announced your intention to take another job. We're not talking about those instances when you receive an offer but don't tell your boss. Nor are we discussing offers that you never intended to take, yet tell your employer about anyway as a "they-want-me- but-I'm-staying with-you" ploy.

    These are merely astute positioning tactics you may choose to use to reinforce your worth by letting your boss know you have other options. Mention of a true offer, however, carries an actual threat to quit.

    Interviews with employers who make counteroffers and employees who accept them, have shown that as tempting as they may be, acceptance may cause career suicide. During the past 20 years, I've seen only isolated incidents in which an accepted counteroffer has benefited the employee. Consider the problem in its proper perspective.

    What really goes through a boss's mind when someone quits?

    "This couldn't happen at a worse time."
    "This is one of my best people. If I let him quit now, it'll wreak havoc on the morale of the department."
    "I've already got one opening in my department. I don't need another right now."
    "This will probably screw up the entire vacation schedule."
    "I'm working as hard as I can, and I don't need to do his work, too."
    "If I lose another good employee, the company might decide to 'lose' me, too."
    "My review is coming up and this will make me look bad."
    "Maybe I can keep him on until I find a suitable replacement."

    What will the boss say to keep you in the nest? Some of these comments are common.

    "I'm really shocked. I thought you were as happy with us as we are with you. Let's discuss it before you make your final decision."
    "Aw gee, I've been meaning to tell you about the great plans we have for you. But they have been confidential until now."
    "The V.P. has you in mind for some exciting and expanding responsibilities."
    "Your raise was scheduled to go into effect next quarter but we'll make it effective immediately."
    "You're going to work for who?"

    Let's face it. When someone quits, it's a direct reflection on the boss. Unless you're really incompetent or a destructive thorn in his side, the boss might look bad by "allowing" you to go. His gut reaction is to do what has to be done to keep you from leaving until he's ready. That's human nature.

    Unfortunately, it's also human nature to want to stay unless your work life is abject misery. Career changes, like all ventures into the unknown, are tough. That's why bosses know they can usually keep you around by pressing the right buttons.

    Before you succumb to a tempting counteroffer, consider these universal truths:

    Any situation in which an employee is forced to get an outside offer before the present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or better working conditions, is suspect.
    No matter what the company says when making its counteroffer, you'll always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for whatever reason), you'll lose your status as a "team player" and your place in the inner circle.
    Counteroffers are usually nothing more than stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.
    Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion or promises made to keep you.
    Counteroffers are only made in response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions?
    Decent and well-managed companies don't make counteroffers ... EVER! Their policies are fair and equitable. They won't be subjected to "counteroffer coercion" or what they perceive as blackmail.

    If the urge to accept a counteroffer hits you, continue to clean out your desk as you count your blessings.

    If you have any questions, comments or would like a particular topic addressed in a future issue please send an e-mail to:

    Source: Larry Barlow of Tax Advantage Personnel, Inc. Copyright Tax Advantage Personnel, Inc.


    In the News

    By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY

    SEATTLE - Monster Worldwide acknowledged Thursday that intruders swiped sensitive data for at least 1.3 million job seekers from its popular employment website.

    The company issued a statement saying it shut down the "rogue server" where the stolen data was being stored and that only names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses were found. The company declined further comment, saying it is cooperating with law enforcement.

    However, security experts say the rogue server was likely just one of dozens used to steal and store data from Monster in an elaborate theft campaign that has been ongoing since May.

    There could be many more than 1.3 million Monster patrons whose data have been breached, and there is little stopping the crooks from continuing the attacks, says Robert Sandilands, chief researcher at security firm Authentium.

    "It is a very good first step by Monster," Sandilands says. "There will have to be more changes to prevent this from happening again. This was a smaller part of a much bigger operation."

    In targeting Monster, intruders sent out e-mail come-ons and pop-up ads pitching job-finding services to get victims to click on a tainted Web link. Clicking on it results in an error message, and turns control of the PC over to the intruder, says Don Jackson, virus researcher at security firm SecureWorks.

    Monster has posted detailed precautions at

    Infected PCs are being incorporated into "zombie" networks to spread e-mail spam, deliver more infections and collect and store stolen data. Meanwhile, all information typed by the user into the Web browser, including user names and passwords for online accounts, gets collected.

    Jackson has tracked down several servers being used to store data collected over time from victims' browser activity, including Social Security numbers and other data. One such storage unit held rich data for 46,000 individuals, he says.

    The crooks appear to have used such data to log into a job recruiter's Monster account and order contact information for 1.3 million job candidates. That data, in turn, was used to target known job seekers for e-mail scams touting Monster's services.

    The Monster attack has been so successful that security experts expect it to be attempted at other employment websites. For that matter, all websites that collect user profiles, particularly social and business networking and media websites, are susceptible as targets, security experts say.

    "The advice to just stay out of the dark corners of the Internet really doesn't hold water any more," says David Cole, director of Symantec Security Response team. "The bad guys are going to legitimate websites and attacking people."


    Motivational Quotes

    Here is a simple but powerful rule - always give people more than what they expect to get.
    - Nelson Boswell

    You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.
    - Bob Nelson

    Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
    - Stephen Covey

    Chuckle of the Month

    What Happens when we Assume

    The Cause Of Arthritis

    A man who reeked of alcohol flopped on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained; his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of rum was sticking out of his ripped jacket pocket. He noisily opened his newspaper and started reading.

    After a few minutes, the disheveled guy turned to the priest and asked "Say, Father, do you know what causes arthritis?"

    The priest, disgusted by the man's appearance and behavior snapped "It's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and contempt for your fellow man."

    "Well, I'll be," the man muttered and returned to his newspaper.

    The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized, "I'm sorry to have come on so strong - I didn't mean it. How long have you been suffering from arthritis?"

    "I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."

    Job Of The Month

    Tax Compliance Senior Manager

    Reporting to the Director of Federal Compliance, this position will direct the completion and oversee the coordination of the federal tax compliance projects.

    Establish efficient methods of obtaining information of the federal tax compliance. Provide tax technical support and act as primary tax liaison with the legal, accounting, treasurers and IT departments. Work with tax planning staff to incorporate M&A and other related transactions, or issues into the tax return. Provide guidance and technical support to all tax staff involved in the Federal return process.

    Experience Requirements: Minimum of 8 years of tax experience in either a Big 4 accounting firm or large corporate tax department. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Excellent research and analytical skills. Project management and financial services industry experience a plus.

    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Compensation: $120k plus $$$, Outstanding benefits
    Relocation Assistance Provided

    Direct any inquiries to Larry Barlow at Tax Advantage Personnel, 1-866-279-2386 or

    How Can I Get From 'Stuck' To 'Unstuck' In My Career?

    You want a fulfilling career - what I call 'right livelihood.' First, shift your focus from what you don't enjoy to what gives you joy. When experience doesn't inform, then trust your gut, do some research and dream a little.

    Dream a LOT! Shift your thinking. Use your imagination! This is goal-setting without boundaries. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? To have? To learn? To become? Who do you want to be with? What values do you want to represent? If you doubled your money, what specifically would you do with it? What else? Why? How do you want to feel, physically, emotionally and spiritually? How do you want to be regarded by others? Take three weeks and list at least 100 of your dreams and wants.

    Think about (feel and envision) past experience that was fulfilling in conjunction with your dream list. Consider who or what you exist to serve. Combined, these three elements should lead you to a sense of purpose. Now consider what you can do DAILY to help you live that purpose, make it a reality. Once you have a clear purpose to life, you will find more purpose in your career direction. And in purpose, we find vision, possibility and fulfillment.

    Mark Sturgell, CBC - Performance Development Network - All rights reserved worldwide.


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