I have not been satisfied with my current job so I found another one. The new contract is not signed yet, but it is in my hands. I need to tell the current employer I am leaving.

If the current employer would make certain changes about my current position (essentially more freedom on making software design decisions), it would be possible for me to stay with my current company. It is a small startup with less than ten active developers, not some corporation with rules set in stone for hundreds the same. I am under impression the company needs me, replacements are possible but would not be easy for them but I also know that raising "ultimatums" tends to provoke bad reactions. I obviously tried to discuss my problems few times before going after the job search.

Would it make sense to say clearly "I would stay if you give me this and this, otherwise I go?" There is not much I would lose but I still want to preserve the good relations and get better recommendation. If such declaration makes sense, how it is better to arrange it?

  • Honestly they won't go for it. Forget it and walk away politely to your new job.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 15:43
  • Just to be clear, you have asked for what you need before, haven't you? Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 16:00
  • You have not been satisfied... you have found a new job... so why would you stay? It sounds like you don't really want to. If it's just fear of change, or a feeling of obligation because your current company needs you - none of that changes your dissatisfaction. You want to leave. You have a chance to leave. Why not leave? Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 16:19
  • 1
    Probably the reason they don't want you making design decisions is that they don't trust you enough to make those decisions. Not suggesting they're right not to trust you, but ultimatums are no way to inspire trust. Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 16:20
  • The question is first IF, and the duplicate asks for HOW. What if maybe better not?
    – eee
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 16:27

5 Answers 5


Would it make sense to say clearly "I would stay if you give me this and this, otherwise I go?"

I believe no.

If it is something they are willing to give you, they will give it to you without any "otherwise". If it is something they are not willing to give you, they may feel blackmailed. This is opposite to your goal "to preserve the good relations". Most if not all managers I knew would respect you more if you would just say something like

It was good working with you, now I'm going for other opportunities

than if you would end your employment with blackmail. Plus, if they would agree to your terms, there is really big risk they will start looking for your replacement, so what's the point, for you?

  • Anecdotally, I actually did something like this once - but it was in a situation when I didn't really expected my demands to be fulfilled and I didn't care about burning that bridge. I still think it was not a smart move.
    – Mołot
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 15:35

The best way to deal with this is to just forget about the need to fire a parting shot. If you like the new offer just go for it and move on.

There are a lot of reasons for leaving one position to take a new one. You should strongly identify the reason that fits your personal situation and make that be what you communicate when your turn in your notice to leave. The leaving should be about you and not about some bone you think you have to pick with the group or organization that you are leaving.

Parting shots have a definite tendency to sour the relationship you have with your current employer. So the best policy is to tamp down your desire to fire that shot, put a smile on your face and wave goodbye.


I don't think you should. Even if they give you what you want, is it worth working there where you had to push so hard to get it? Also, think that they'll know that you are "not loyal" so there's a chance they look for someone else and make a plan to take rid of you. And it is less possible for you to get a possitive recomendation.

As a general rule, if they don't give you what you want before you start searching somewhere else, then you should never, ever, accept a counter-offer when you already have a good offer somewhere else that made you think of accept it and leave.


If you're unhappy now, you won't be any happier with a counteroffer unless it's exactly what you want. Just tell them that you're leaving and if they provide a counter, use that to see if you can negotiate what you want.


Ask for it, there is no way to sugarcoat it.

Example: if it is about the remuneration, request for a meeting and ask:

Hey PQR, I recently got an offer which proposes a remuneration of $X. I was willing to check with you whether you would be able to reconsider my payout so that I do not feel I'm missing out. Nothing personal, but in case it is not possible, I am willing to accept the offer.

They will get the point and you'll see the results.

  • And then you're the guy who's interested in jumping ship, and the guy who got his pay through threats. That's not a good position to be in. Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 16:00

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