I received a good offer in the summer (end of July) from a company, so I resigned from my current position and after that, on the same day, talked to the CTO explaining him my leaving.

End of July, the same day:

He insisted I shouldn't leave and we should meet after work to discuss the matter further. He even went to HR and told them to put my resignation on hold.

Later that evening he talked me out of leaving, he said if things don't work out he'll recommend me to his many connections and finally made me an even better offer than the one I had received. I accepted it and told the other company I'll stay where I am. The CTO said he'd have everything done beginning of September as he was gonna leave for holidays.

Beginning of September:

He came back, he said we'll do it beginning of October. I wasn't really worried as I had a 3 months notice period so I wasn't gonna join the other company before 1st of November had I left my current one.

Beginning of October:

I spoke to him again and he said it would happen beginning of November.

Current situation [2nd week of November]:

I've talked to him about the situation about 2 weeks ago and he said I would get the new contract last week. I have seen nothing meanwhile.

Now I can see where this is going and would probably have to leave.

I am looking for advice on how to proceed in this situation?

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    From what you've written it sounds like you may be being "strung along" by the CTO (what I mean by that is - they are keeping you hanging with no intention of providing the new terms). Are you a 'key' or 'indispensable' person in your role, or a really good employee but ultimately replaceable. I would suggest you push one more time for something concrete, with a specific timescale (in no longer than a month) and if it doesn't happen you seek to move on. In fact I would be seeking out opportunities already if I were you. (cont) Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 20:07
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    (...) and consider moving on anyway if you see this as an act of bad faith (or even just not paying enough attention) rather than genuine business reasons. It would be a win win situation -- you get a better role, they get to learn from their mistake :) Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 20:09
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    Should have stopped talking in September and contacted the possible future company, and others. Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 21:55
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    Situations like this are why we recommend you should never accept a counter-offer.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 23:11
  • 3
    @gnat, Not even close. Not even a little bit. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


You've broken the cardinal rule.

Never accept the counter-offer of your existing employer. What usually happens is that they'll offer you better terms, but often fire you a few months later on their own timetable.

In your case, the COO seems to have taken it up a step further, your employer hasn't given you the promised raise, but still has managed to make you lose the other offer.

At this point, you need to restart your job search from scratch, and perhaps even grovel back to the potential employer you even said 'no' to. Just tell them the truth, that your original employer reneged on their original counteroffer. Frankly, you have nothing more to lose at this point.

Also, I know this seems like a daunting task, but your resume is already done and your interviewing skills are already up to par. Now it's just a matter of re-continuing the job-hunting process. This part actually becomes easier and easier the more you practice. It even becomes quite fun once you become adept at it.

Also, I don't know where you're located, but if you're able to get an offer from a different employer quickly enough, consider consulting with legal counsel to see if you can stick to the original notice period you already gave. After all, you didn't stop the resignation process, he did. And you had a verbal agreement with him that he didn't honor. I'm not saying this is enough to void the agreement, I have no idea if that's the case, but maybe an actual employment lawyer in your jurisdiction would be able to tell you.

And in the meantime, by all means, keep on working on getting that raise given to you retroactively. Just note that if they do give it to you, they may still fire you out of spite a couple of months later. If you're not critical to the company, that's what usually happens in the end.

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    Now OP, if you can manage to (a) get the job that you declined and (b) make the old employer sign that you will get back pay for the promised raise, then you deserve an award.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 11:40
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    "What usually happens is that they'll offer you better terms, but often fire you a few months later on their own timetable." Is this really what generally happens? Im sure this would not fly where I am located. I cannot be fired without a decent reason
    – user180146
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:21
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    @user180146 - They'll find a reason. I've written extensively about this elsewhere: quora.com/… Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 17:19
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    @StephanBranczyk I understand the "user....." confusion but I am not the OP :). I agree that OP has clear evidence of mistreatment by his COO and should probably look to move. I was just wondering about your statement in general
    – user180146
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 11:25
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    @user180146 You found a new job, and the company offered a raise to keep you. That means they either knowingly underpaid you all the time, something you should keep in mind, or they are planning to pay you more but keep you only for a short while.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 23:10

If it was me, I'd recommend a couple of things:

  • Get a written commitment of the revised contract
  • Get the pay increase backdated to the original date that it was agreed

If I can't get these, I would personally be inclined to start applying for jobs outside again.

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    Written commitment because you know how much this man's promise is worth. But even if you get this in writing, look for another job, because he'll get rid of you as soon as he can.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 23:10

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