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The Returnee: I’ve got a big counter offer, but if my employer values me so much, why didn’t it raise my pay beforehand?

Like most people in banking in China I am no longer excited about my job. But because I am not in a junior position, I need a strong reason to leave my firm, so I have only gone for a couple of interviews since contacting headhunters after the bonus season. I don’t want to change just for the sake of changing.

However, without expecting it, I was recently offered a role by a small Asian bank. The main difference between my existing job and this new one is compensation. I always knew my company was not the most generous bank on the street, but I didn’t expect such a huge gap.

My headhunter said I had been underpaid for the past two years, while the industry was recovering. I’m not sure if he was just bluffing because he wanted to sell me the role, but now I don’t feel my current position is worth the time and effort I put in.

Two hours after telling my direct manager about the offer, I was called into the regional manager’s office and was asked “if I take the money off the table, what else would stop you staying?”.

I was shocked and asked myself several questions. Is money not a concern now? Is the firm suddenly, miraculously able to match the rival salary? Am I really underpaid and my bosses knew it? Our conversation ended with his commitment: “I’ll start talking to the HR. You have a really careful think again”.

I spent the next day sitting in other senior managers’ offices having similar conversations. I still handed in my resignation letter because I knew HR would not work on my case without it. But at the same time, I wondered if I would get a pay rise.

It was a long wait of course, but after many approvals I got a counter offer. Now I know the managers really don’t want me to leave, but why don’t they properly reward employees they value in the first place? Or is it perhaps partly my fault for not insisting on a decent pay rise each year?

Now I am even more confused about whether I should stay or go. In a company that doesn’t take care of employees in a proactive way, will I have a bright future?

What do you think? Let me know below.

Comments (5)

  1. Unfortunately, the fact is you will get little increase every year if you stay in the same company not until you are luckily to have really good boss who really fights for you ?hardly met? or they see your resignation. So the suggestion to you is you should base on the reasons to decide if you like to stay or not. However, you should not change job too frequent ?i.e. every year or fewer than 2 years?but it will be good to go out to learn new things than staying in the same place too long unless it is really such a nice place to work till retire.

  2. don’t stay.

    1. your colleagues will become hostile because of your pay rise
    2. your boss will “take care” of you some day when s/he is free from the current situation. s/he compromises now simply because you give him/her a shock with less time to react and response
    3. your bosses are not reasonalbe people. they are extreme persons. they can fill your pay gap within a short period of time. this seems that your bosses and your banks management system and style are not continuous and consistent. they manage as they wish.

  3. sorry, i mean DON’T stay in my previous email.

  4. Finding new.

  5. Your website has to be the eeclrtoinc Swiss army knife for this topic.

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