Some context:

I've worked at my current company for about 2 years now as a software developer. It is a medium to big company with a solid grasp on the market. Also, it is a really cool workplace and is pretty pleasant in general, except the pay. My initial salary was about 30% lower than the average where I live. Recently, I started looking for other job opportunities and got a offer to join a startup. The salary there is right around the average, so 42% more than my current salary.

With this offer, I approached my manager and told him that I was considering leaving, and that the money was the decisive, and only, reason. He quickly asked for a number and said he would get it done by the end of the week, which he actually did. He said that I was a very valuable member to the team, and that they could not afford to lose me for something so small as a raise. During the weekend though, I received another offer from a different company, and the salary is around 30% more than I get even with the raise. The company is regarded as the best tech company to work for in Brasil, and I'm considering them as an option.

Will I burn a bridge by leaving right after asking for a substantial raise so I would not leave?

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    What you can take from these events is that your current company isn't paying you what you're worth. They only match what others are willing to pay. You should be worth more to your current company than to any other company, because of your in-depth knowledge of the company and their product and team and internals and whatnot. But they lowball you, reluctantly matching what others are willing to pay, and for just this, I would already leave them.
    – Alexander
    Jan 17, 2019 at 15:56
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    A thing mentioned often on other similar questions: you might not want to feel super secure in your new pay at the old job, anyway. "Give him a raise until we can find a cheaper replacement for him to train" is definitely a thing that happens. Jan 17, 2019 at 18:14
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    @Lucas Espindola Technically speaking, percentages don't work the same way in both directions. 100 -> 70 is a 30% reduction, but 70 -> 100 is a 42% increase. Your increase is actually more substantial than you think. Jan 18, 2019 at 6:59
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    Why do you want to be loyal to company which paid you less than average, even when they could easily pay more ("something so small as a raise")?
    – Volvox
    Jan 18, 2019 at 11:11
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    @SouthpawHare my bad, just fixed it
    – espindolaa
    Jan 18, 2019 at 20:19

8 Answers 8


Simply state,

"Boss, you wouldn't believe it. I'm making 6. You kindly offered me 7. Out of the blue on the weekend XYZ offered me 8! No kidding - here, you can see the offer. I want you to understand I'm NOT trying to play you for more money. I am definitely taking the "8" offer. Thanks for the great years!"

End of story.

This is totally and completely uninteresting in the world of software. No issues.

As you say you don't want to "be rude" so just make it totally clear that you are NOT looking for yet another offer.

Your old boss will appreciate you being decisive, truthful, frank and crisp.


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    And perhaps have a Caipirinha before he goes to talk to his boss, to settle the nerves. :-)
    – Peter K.
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:08
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    @Homerothompson (1) the current company is a KNOWN LOW-PAYER. what OP must do is RUN. (2) actually YES, it would be uncool to "make it a negotiation". firmly state you are leaving. OK, maybe incredibly they will come back with yet another offer, but there is no chance of that in reality so don't "make it a negotiation". Take the high ground and state you are leaving.
    – Fattie
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:23
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    Their boss will also appreciate them not trying to gauge them for more money right after they did give them what OP asked for few days before since OP is concerned with not burning bridges also. For once I ll agree with @Fattie
    – Leon
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:58
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    @Leon , I send crates of wine to those who agree - hence all the upvotes! :)
    – Fattie
    Jan 17, 2019 at 17:43
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    Many years ago I had this conversation with my boss at the time. It was a great company and I was sad to leave, but the new offer was out of the blue and just too good to pass up. "What would you do if you were me?" I asked. He said to take the job, that I had to. It's ok, he will understand.
    – Rocky
    Jan 17, 2019 at 18:08


Talk to your manager and explain again that you have had an even better offer. Show him proof if needed (and willing of course). He may say he'll match it, you may be able to negotiate higher e.g. 10% but you still have to make the choice, Is that 10% more important or is joining

The company is regarded as the best tech company to work on Brasil

You need to decide whether you enjoy your current job/role enough to stay and potentially negotiate an even higher salary. Or get this massive opportunity on your resume. With your statement above I assume this company has good reputation and is highly commendable as a company.

To me, your current company will not likely increase your salary above the offer. Maybe match it, but not top it. Then you also have the reputation of this company behind you. To me it's an obvious choice on what I would be choosing.

You won't be burning any bridges at all, your manager will understand why you have made the choice. If they can't beat the offer they have to let you go. Your manager clearly thinks highly of you so you will still have that strong relationship between yourselves if ever required for whatever reason.

  • Feels kinda dishonest to go back for more when you just did that. Imo its either leave or stay as is. OP would be the first one on the chopping board for replacement asap if he tries to pull this twice, let alone twice in a row.
    – Leon
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:48
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    @Leon How is it dishonest? The newer offer will have a date and a salary. The manager will clearly see that it's not made up. You'll cause more damage if you just leave. Especially when OP stated that the only reason he was debating leaving was because of the money and only the money. Now the manager matched it and he's still leaving?
    – Twyxz
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:53
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    @Leon I disagree...it's not dishonesty. How long do you feel is appropriate enough to take the decision of leaving after a raise? A month? Two? Six months? A year? It's subjective and varies. Jan 17, 2019 at 13:53
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    @Leon Both options are valid options. I wouldn't say Fattie's answer is particularly bad. Just not my choice of play based off the relationship and respect that OP has with their manager.
    – Twyxz
    Jan 17, 2019 at 14:01
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    @Leon I do not see the difference between (1) accepting raise and leaving and (2) accepting raise and asking for raise again. In both the cases, you are defying the cause of the first raise, so I dont see how they may appear any different. Rather, asking for another raise may depict that you are still interested in the organization and the work / role - it's just that you have a higher market value and if the organization values you, they should match your expectations. Jan 17, 2019 at 14:04

You might burn a bridge in this case.

You gave your manager a specific number so that he could retain you ( you mentioned to him that money is the only reason for you considering leaving ). He then promised to give you exactly what you asked for and delivered on his promise ( who knows how many hoops he had to go through to fulfill your request ). And now you will go to him and tell him that money actually wasn't the only thing that mattered.

I can see some managers being upset at losing an employee in this manner.

Regardless, I don't think that burning bridges matters much in this case. A substantially better opportunity has come along ( best tech company and much better pay ) and those opportunities don't come around frequently. I would take that offer even if it means burning a bridge with your current manager. He may be upset, but at the end of the day he will understand that you made the right decision.

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    The new offer is from a completely different company. The first offer was just more money ("I like working here, but the pay sucks"). The second is (even) more money and prestige ("I like working here, the pay is about average, but wait what, Google wants me for 30% more than I'm making now? Yes please!"). A second pay raise to match the second offer might be enough to keep you around, but you know you aren't likely to get it as you just got one. Jan 17, 2019 at 16:02
  • Why are people assuming the OP is leaving for anything other than money? I know they mention "prestige", but that's quite a leap to presume that has any weight considering the third company is offering nearly 70% more than the starting number and 30% more than the matched offer.
    – Git Gud
    Jan 18, 2019 at 11:18
  • "that money actually wasn't the only thing that mattered." Where does OP say this? Jan 18, 2019 at 12:48
  • @SteveSmith The OP says that "money was the decisive, and only, reason".
    – Git Gud
    Jan 18, 2019 at 13:52
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    @GitGud the money was decisive for the first offer only.
    – stannius
    Jan 18, 2019 at 17:59

Your company was significantly underpaying you, for years, and they knew it. When you pointed it out, they offered you a raise, which is (kind of) nice of them (if you overlook all you lost before). But now you have an opportunity to be decently paid from the start. Take it!

In any case, staying after setting up a bidding war over salary rarely comes to a good end, you're now marked as a flight risk and your career in this place is inherently limited. If you don't go now, chances are they'll push you out in fairly short order. And if you still love them after you work elsewhere, you can always come back, for even more money, later, that's a different setup. But once you show a higher offer to your employer you pretty much have to leave.


I was in this situation a couple of months ago. I had 2 offers from 2 different companies.

My salary at the time was 20.000, I had an offer of 26.000 and another of 28.000.

My boss knew I loved working where I was but I was stagnant and felt like there was no much more I could progress, it was my first job as a support analyst.

My boss counter offered to 28.000, all of a sudden I was worth the 8.000 he was currently not paying. I was offered a retainer fee as well.

When I rejected the offer a director sat me down and asked me what I needed to be offered (reasonably to stay), this meant anything up to 34.000 would have been reasonable to him. I was lead project owner of their automation. I still took the 26.000 job instead. why? Better job, better opportunity.

Think of what is best for you, your family, your future and your career. It might be that the other offer which was lower is best for you. Wages, at an initial state is a negotiation, sometimes they require you to invest in the company. If you get paid 3.000 less than you feel you should, then that is your investment in the company making your future better.

Before my prior job I was being paid 24.000 and took the job for 19.000...now 2 years later I'm at 27.000 working in IT, which I hadn't done before.

Money is not the answer to everything...

  • +1 for the Money is not the answer to everything - in the end it always boils down to this.
    – peterph
    Jan 19, 2019 at 21:26

You won't burn any bridges. When people start looking around for options, this is not uncommon to happen.

If you ever go back to the company (which rarely happens) or for the same boss in a different company (also rare), you'll be considered for your merits and this incident won't matter. Go ahead and take the best offer you can get.

Also, don't ask your current employer to simply match the new offer. Ask 10% over that and see what happens. You have nothing to lose.

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    That comment seems to be part of the answer - I'd edit that in to it :) Welcome to the site! Thanks for contributing.
    – Erik
    Jan 17, 2019 at 13:11
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    I disagree in this specific case. His boss went out of his way and probably had to pull in a few favors to get this deal done. Now he leaves anyway. Jan 17, 2019 at 20:28
  • His boss gave raise from below market value to market value. Management was almost certainly aware of the fact and had the budget for it ready. I doubt any favours were involved.
    – kresho
    Jan 18, 2019 at 9:01

In addition to Fattie's excellent answer (which I upvoted), one consideration is in how much loyalty you should give to your existing company. The answer is NONE. As a general rule, your company can and will terminate you, at any time, for any reason, at their whim (yes, you may have things like "two weeks notice" or whatever, but you're still fired even if you're still collecting a paycheque for 2 weeks). You should not feel any reservation about terminating your employer, at any time, for any reason, at your whim. Failing to do so is called "loyalty"; your employer has no loyalty to you, and thus you should have no loyalty to them. The employment agreement exists so long as it is more beneficial to both parties to retain it than it is to sever it, and that's the limit and end of the story.

In your case, it has become the case that retaining the employment relationship is no longer more beneficial to you than it is to sever it. So sever it. They would absolutely and most certainly do the same in reverse, if they found they could hire someone to do your job for cheaper than they are paying you (or for any other reason).

Here's the other problem: You have asked for a raise. Your company is underpaying you and their other employees. Now they are paying you market rate, which they see as "overpaying". When layoff time comes, who do you think the person who is going to be laid off will be, the person making market rate, or the person making 30% below market rate? By receiving the raise, you have put a target on your back as someone who is "costing the company too much money" and you've lowered the amount of loyalty your company has towards you (they have zero loyalty in general, but now they have even less towards you specifically).

You have the better offer in hand. Take it.


if you really a good developer in your current company ask to help you some upgrade your skills with some courses, don`t care about money, money always will be limited

  • 3
    without an explanation, this answer may become useless in case if someone else posts an opposite opinion. For example, if someone posts a claim like "if you really a good developer in your current company don't ask to help you some upgrade your skills with some courses, be careful about money, money always will be limited", how would this answer help reader to pick of two opposing opinions? Consider editing it into a better shape, to meet How to Answer guidelines
    – gnat
    Jan 18, 2019 at 11:12

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