First of all, English is not my first language, so, please, forgive me for some mistakes, and sorry if I couldn't make myself understood.

I'm currently working for a company that clearly underpays me. My boss went as far as say straight to my face that he knows that my paycheck is not enough for my position.

When I asked for a raise, he said that it wouldn't be possible for this year, but I might get some in the following year.

So I started looking for a new job.

When I got a job offer, I said to my boss I was leaving but he said he would like to negotiate a counter-offer.

However, in order to proceed with the counter-offer, he said that he would need a written job offer by that company that was hiring me.

I was a little taken aback and might have overreacted. I refused to do so.

I asked around a little bit in the office, and none of my colleagues that went thought the same situation was asked to show a written job offer.

Did I overreacted refusing to show him the offer? I feels like he doesn't believe me, and it kind of hurts me a little.

  • 8
    You are leaving, why do you care if he believes you or not?
    – Sandra K
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:38
  • @SandraK I don't. I would just like to know if I really overreact or not.
    – Alexandre
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:40
  • You can refuse to give it to him in a very quiet tone. Whether it is an overreaction depends on the tone, not the refusal, which is perfectly sensible (in fact, the only sensible response). Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 4:03
  • Did / do you want a counter offer? The job offer letter would only be relevant if you want a counter offer. If you don't want one, then you probably should've just said that you're not interested in a counter offer, rather than refusing to provide the job offer letter. If you do want one, then your boss already told you the requirements. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 6:25
  • Don’t worry about him, he already made it clear when he refused that raise that he can’t offer you that much. Just say him you understand but wouldn’t want to put the company at risk as he clearly explained it was not possible...
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 20:23

3 Answers 3


Did I overreacted refusing to show him the offer? I feels like he doesn't believe me

Subjective of course, but I would say no. You have no reason to show your boss the offer. Honestly, your worth at your current company shouldn't be related to whatever offer you have received from another company. If they don't appreicate your work enough to pay you a fair wage, or at least a wage that you are happy with, then you should not stay.

Quick aside, I would imagine this has damaged your relationship with you boss, so even if you did give him the info and he did match it, would you really want to stay?

  • 9
    Even if it had not damaged his relationship, he had already asked for, and been denied a raise. For the boss to now decide that he can make a counter offer is a clear red signal.
    – NotMe
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:02

No, because it's none of his business. This should raise a red flag that you could see from space.

Do NOT give your boss a letter or any other information, do not accept a counter offer, just leave.

They have demonstrated that they are not willing to pay you enough, and the threat of you leaving is not enough and they want a letter? That's just shy of calling you a liar.

Now, if you give him a letter, you're telling him exactly where you are going to be working, and for whom. This gives him a huge amount of power over you. He could even call the company, or have someone else call and warn them about how terrible a person you are and what a mistake it would be to hire you and that they had better rescind their offer if they are wise.

DO NOT GIVE HIM A LETTER! You did NOT overreact, you were very wise to act that way.

  • I don't think he would call the company, simply because that's not the type of person he is. If I ever find out he did something like that, I would just leave, even if I had no offer.
    – Alexandre
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:30
  • @Alexandre Are not you leaving already?? Unclear..
    – Sandra K
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:38
  • 3
    @Alexandre it is not about whether he would, you don't want to make it possible that he could Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 2:29
  • 1
    @Alexandre You have no idea what he will or will not do. If he asks for the letter, I really wonder what "type of person" he is. Don't give it to him. If you do, it will be a very expensive lesson for you. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 4:02
  • 1
    @Kinaeh, why? What benefit is there to be gained by your suggestion? Or are you simply trying to provide a contrarian comment to every answer here, which all agree to not give any information and this behavior is an enormous red flag? Why even go through the trouble you are suggesting? Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 16:24

The general rule is: Once you found a new and better paying job, you do not accept a counter offer. The reasons: 1. If they make you a better offer now, it proves that they did not only underpay you, but they did so knowingly. That's not a place where you want to stay. 2. Having looked for and found another job makes you a marked man. There's a good chance you will soon be gone. 3. Do you think of ever getting a raise again? No chance. 4. It happens that people accept a counter offer, and they are fired a week later, just as the new job opportunity disappears.

So since you are not going to accept a counter offer, there is no possible benefit for you showing the other company's offer, but lots of opportunity for downside.

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