I worked with current employer for more than 8 years. The only reason I looked outside is that the industry standard pay package includes performance based bonus which could potentially be 10x my current pay. Current employer is holding off from that idea for years. Recently I landed an offer with that package from a respectable competitor.

Apart from pay, the current employer is quite good in terms of working environment and work life balance. So I really prefer to stay with current job, even with 50% matched offer. The issue is that the idea of 'performance based bonus' has come up various times in the past and was never accepted. So without the threat of an external offer, I don't think it will ever go through. Of course the new offer is from a respectable company and I'm happy to leave if current employer doesn't want to give anything.

Is it normal to ask current employer to match an external offer? If so, how best can I negotiate?

PS Similar to this question How do I ask my current employer to match a signing bonus from a new potential employer?, but I do prefer to stay, hopefully for many more years. Just don't want to be so much underpaid compared with industry average.

  • So they underpaid yourself and coworkers, by quite a bit, for 8 years. What good could come from staying? Answer: nothing.
    – Pete B.
    Mar 31, 2021 at 14:42
  • 5
    It's very hard to believe that you are being paid 10% of what you realistically could get elsewhere. Even double is unusual. Why did you accept this low salary in the first place? Mar 31, 2021 at 15:11
  • workplace.stackexchange.com/a/98791/61096
    – Neo
    Mar 31, 2021 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


"Performance Based Bonuses" should not be relied upon.

They're bonuses, not raises/pay. And ultimately the company gets to calibrate what the metric for the bonus is. If you're getting starry-eyed over the potential of making 10x due to performance-based bonuses, you should ask yourself two questions:

  • What's the average bonus that's paid out?
  • What is the likelihood that the bonus will continue to pay out similarly?

With a salary differential as large as you're claiming (making 10x more is gargantuan) you should be asking yourself, "Is there something I'm missing in this picture?"

  • 2
    I worked for an organization for close to 8 years that in theory paid good bonuses, but due to overall performance of the company, we only got a bonus once, in all that time. Mar 31, 2021 at 16:36
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    You can also run into a system, where the amount of your bonus, is based on your annual appraisal. However, since the amount of total award money is limited, the money is divided among everyone that receives similar appraisals. So everyone that exceeds their duties gets similar values, and everyone who meets their duties gets similar values, while everyone who doesn't meet their duties....well they receive formal notice they are not meeting their requirements for the job.
    – Donald
    Mar 31, 2021 at 21:43

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