I'm hoping to get some kind of advice regarding a counter-offer dilemma I find myself in; it's the first time I've ever had a counter-offer so I have no idea what to do. Apologies if this is a long question, I just wanted it to be as detailed as possible.
TL;DR I have a great job, I got offered another one, and now I've been given a counter-offer. I have no idea what to do, can anyone help with any advice? specifically I am looking for any direct experience such as "best/worst decision I ever made" or "as a hiring manager I have seen this happen X times and in general it does/doesn't work Y% of the time", etc. Considered opinions are of course also welcome.
I work for a large corporation, having been there for close to 2 years now.
- I was hired as a Software Lead, and then progressed to Architecture.
- We have several global teams in our project but our team's Dev Manager is based offshore in a different timezone.
- Although I am the de-facto leader of the team - I mentor, lead and help all the team members each day - I don't actually get to manage them, grow their careers, etc.
That last point frustrates me so one thing I have been asking about for maybe 12 months, is if we can have local dev leadership in an official capacity(i.e. "manager" role), partly so that we can be more effective as a team, and partly so that we have a good platform to grow our presence in this particular site (we're the only team on the project at this site and I dream of eventually having more here). Unfortunately that has not happened yet because "global strategy".
- I can honestly say that I love the company, the work and the people, but the situation means that even though I work for a huge company, my career growth options for the foreseeable future are practically nil, because I have reached the highest possible level at this site - my current role was created for me and we have no other on-site architects.
- So if I want to progress further, I would have to move abroad - something I don't want to do.
- Most of the folks at this site don't write software, they perform manufacturing support functions so I can't even take a step sideways to move forwards, if you see what I mean.
I have an offer on the table from a small software company that is experiencing massive growth and needs the kind of skills I have; this offer kind of fell into my lap in the sense that I wasn't really looking, just went along to a recruiter-offered interview for the day out and the chance to wear my suit...
- Well, it turns out they're a great bunch of people and I'd love to work with them.
- It's also a chance to help something grow which I really enjoy doing to do - my current employer has pretty much already "won" in its industry.
- The offer itself is about 90% of what I currently have (salary same, but bonus and benefits not quite matching, would be leaving behind a very large retention grant, etc, etc, but it's understandable as they are a very small company) and the work is very interesting.
- I have not signed anything yet but I really ought to in the next few days, if I am going to take that job.
Now. The thing is, that around about the time that I was being offered this new job, and talking to my manager that I was going to be handing my notice (I wanted to negotiate an exit date with them that would not leave them stuck), I made it clear that this was a non-negotiable decision, nothing they can offer me to stay, not because I am unhappy with the organisation at all, just because I feel I can grow more in the other job.
And now in the last 3 days, out of the blue, a global organisational change has put someone more or less local (different country but 1 hour flight) in charge of the whole project (I suppose you could say they are now both the Program and Engineering Director of the project). I have a great working relationship with that person and when they found out I was thinking of leaving, they immediately offered me a Dev Manager role not just for the local team but also for another prestigious team at another remote site.
And suddenly I don't know what to do! So it's kind of a case of "be careful what you wish for" because I'm right back to square one with my decision.
My own current feelings
- From my own research on the subject, the general consensus seems to be "Don't accept counter offers, it rarely works out."
- But this one feels very genuine and I get the sense that it's more a case that this could well have been offered in the near future, and that the current situation has just accelerated that.
- Then again, I am the centre of my own universe so I'm probably more than a little biased to be thinking like that :)
So any advice, anecdotal or otherwise, is much appreciated - I understand that this is a very opinion-based question but any help will help...I am fully aware that this is a pure "first-world problem" as well....