Congratulations. You have been offered a new job. All that searching, attending interviews and success – an offer from a company you want to work for.

When you’re in the middle of a job search it can be hard to think about anything else. But now that you have an actual offer its time to think about handing in your notice and the next steps after that.

For some, handing in your notice is easy. In some cases, you may have already mentioned it to your current employer. It’s part of the process and it’s nothing personal.

For others, it can be a real cause of fear and dread. How should I word it? Will they be annoyed? Am I leaving them in the lurch?

Handing in your notice

Either way, when you’re handing in your notice always be professional.

Have an idea of what you are going to say and give the full notice required. Never leave under a cloud. No matter how bad or nasty your boss might be, take your time, pick your moment, give your notice in a courteous manner.

All going to plan your boss will be accepting of your notice and wish you well. But on occasion, you might get offered a counteroffer.

It can be hard to find a good employee so it’s easy to see why some employers try and reverse a leaver’s decision to hand in their notice. Afterall if you have the right skills and cultural fit it’s likely you are highly valued.

Counter offers – why say no?

As enticing as counter offers can be, especially if more money is involved, it’s important to keep a clear head. Take a step back and consider your options.

You wanted a new role and to leave the company you’re working, your decision to leave was made long before you were offered another job.

Reflect on the reasons you looked for a new role initially. See if it’s possible to tackle these issues before even considering a counter offer.

For example, if your current role lacks long-term career growth potential or you are feeling unchallenged and bored, how will you and your employer address this?

It’s also worth considering why you are only being offered a salary increase or other benefits now, rather than before your resignation.

If you do decide to leave, take the counter offer in your stride. Thank your employer for the opportunity and reaffirm your decision to leave.

If you decide to stay

If you decide to stay, be aware that you will have to work hard to win back your employer’s trust. They now know where you stand, and you might have to work harder than your colleagues to prove your loyalty long-term.

In general, it is true what they say about accepting a counter offer. The majority do decide to leave within 12 months anyway.

Generally, a salary increase is all well and good in the interim but the underlying reasons for why you decided to leave tend to remain. It is your life and your career.

Never feel pressurised into accepting a counter offer and never try and use an offer as a bargaining tool against your current employer.

If you’re unsure about an offer or what new job opportunities are out there, ask your recruiter for their input. They’ve been through this before and will be able to offer some tried and tested advice.

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