1

I work for company A, I interviewed and got an offer from company B with better pay. I notified my boss about this offer and got a counter offer which I accepted.

Fast forward about 8 months later, I get another offer from company C. I want to decline the offer because of 2 reasons:

  1. The pay difference is not significant enough, its more than my current pay but much much less than what I stated as my expected pay in case I join
  2. At company A i manage a team who directly report to me as the line manager. At company C I will not directly manage anyone.

I do not want to tell my current manager that I got another offer with the intention of getting a counter offer from company A, I feel that management might think its a tactic from me to get better pay, but at the same time I do want a pay rise!

In the current position I'm learning a lot as I'm about 3 years into a tech leadership position and experiencing how different it is to just being a developer - basically I'm having fun and loving the current management challenges. I'm also keen to see the product I've been developing and leading come to live when it is finally launched in a couple of months.

How do I bring up this conversation with my manager?

  • Have your responsibilities changed ( i.e. increased ) since your last raise? – sf02 Mar 28 at 14:00
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    So, you're still attending interviews....not very common when you say "basically I'm having fun and loving the current management challenges: – Sourav Ghosh Mar 28 at 14:06
  • @sf02 yes the responsibilities have increased – kev Mar 29 at 9:41
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    @SouravGhosh yes I'm attending interviews. I don't think that someone should stop interviewing even if they are happy in their current position. – kev Mar 29 at 9:42
  • @kev As I said, nothing wrong, but unusual. – Sourav Ghosh Mar 29 at 11:20
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Pay should be based on the merit of your work, and the value your (current) employer places on it. Pretty much every other factor is a distraction, and building an argument for a raise based on other factors will be risky at best. Looking at this from another perspective, an employer who refuses a raise for other reasons is putting themselves at risk, as well.

If you have a case at your current employer for showing how your work is - to them - worth more than you're getting paid, then sure - ask for a raise, and base the argument on the case you have.

If your only case for asking for a raise is, "I got a better offer somewhere else" then be ready for disappointment - especially if you've used that tactic recently.

As an exercise to help you understand this, imagine if the tables were turned, and your current employer said,

We're going to decrease your pay by 10% because we have been talking to another candidate who would do your job for less.

You'd probably feel like saying something along the lines of, "well wait - I think I'm worth more than that person. I know more, have more skills, etc." - you'd naturally want to bring it back to a merit-based argument, because that's a factor that's meaningful for you, as an individual with a specific contribution to make.

Now imagine they said that to you twice in the same year - sooner or later, you'd just feel like saying, "Fine! Go hire that person. I'm outta here."

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You really, really want to avoid mentioning the offer from company C - coming so soon on the heels of the counter offer to retain you in the situation with company B it's going to absolutely 100% come across as being a "tactic", and to be honest it will probably end up making them thing that you were doing just that the first time as well!

A rival offer can be an effective way to galvanize an employer in to giving you a raise (as you discovered). It's not something that can be done frequently though (unless you really are some irreplaceable genius rockstar astronaut) and to be honest I'd never recommend doing it unless you are completely prepared to take the alternative offer.

If you want a pay rise (and who doesn't!) then you are going to have to do it the "normal" way - make your case to your boss why you are worth more to the company then what they are currently paying you for. Just don't mention Company C.

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