I look forward to getting feedback on these newsletters so that I know if I’m providing any useful or interesting information. I seemed to have hit a nerve judging from the responses I’m getting on the question of the work ethics of Trinidadians. See Tell Us What You Think.
Counter Offers-Should You Accept Them?
Suppose you are tempted to apply for a new job. You may not be desperate to leave and, in fact, you are quite happy in your current job; it’s just that you would like a change and a new challenge, and you will earn more money to boot. Your resume will look better if you have a history of good jobs to show your career progression and the breadth of your experience.
Then you are made an offer and it’s time to make a decision. You talk to your family and you decide that this is a good opportunity that you should not pass up. You feel that now is a good time to leave your employer as you’re not working on anything so crucial. You sign the job letter and hand in your resignation to your boss. Then the @#$% hits the fan!
Suddenly you discover that your current employer thinks highly of your talents and that you have great prospects with their company; only they never gave you this impression before. They want you to stay with them and they prove this by presenting you with an equal or better counter-offer! What do you do?
What you should do is think very carefully about the motives behind the counter-offer and also what you may be doing to any future chances of working with the new company should you renege on your signed job contract.
The reason your current employers are so keen to keep you is that your leaving will make life very inconvenient for them – it’s costly to recruit a replacement and it takes time and is a hassle. Plus, a new person has a learning curve to get up to speed and won’t have all that on-the-job knowledge that’s in your head. They are thinking of what’s best for them, not for you.
The fact is that nearly every person who accepts a counter-offer leaves, or tries to leave, that employment within a year. By accepting another job, you have shown disloyalty to your employer. This will impact on your promotion prospects and probably the quality of the work that comes your way, despite their promises to the contrary.
They will never trust you again not to leave them in the lurch. They just wanted you to finish whatever you were working on and give them time to work around your loss. You will find yourself being left out in the cold and you will eventually become unhappy enough to start actively job-hunting.
I have seen this happen over and over again. I know from my own experience what it’s like to be torn between the comfort of your current employer and the attraction of a new opportunity, and the pressure an employer can put on a person to stay. I decided I needed to move on and never regretted that decision. My advice is to be absolutely sure you can resist any counter-offer before accepting another job.
If you have any doubts then by all means talk to your current boss about the reasons why you may consider looking for other opportunities, so that you can explore what potential there is in staying put. But do this before you go as far as accepting an offer for another job. Word of warning – do not resign before you get that job offer in your hand!
Another consideration in a small society like a Caribbean island is that if you turn down a job offer you may be spoiling any chances of ever working with that company again. Also, one day you may go for a job interview with a different company and come face to face with the same person you let down. So, do consider very carefully what’s best for you!
Tell Us What You Think
Letters to the Editor:
In my more than 25 years in IT, 15 abroad, 10 in Trinidad, I do not see more or less commitment from Trini IT professionals than professionals from abroad, UK, USA or otherwise. What I do see is, professionals or even people with personal pride who are committed will always do their best, and even work very long hours/weeks/months to complete the job on-time, mainly due to bad management/planning/short staffing.
However, there is too much poor project management, poor senior management, with a large slant on keeping the bigger boss happy (sucking up, not wanting to say no), a tendency to wait until the last minute to get things done by some staff and using others to get one’s own job done, and reaping the reward for themselves. Most of this of course being human nature. …. Philip.
As an IT manager coming from Germany to Trinidad some years ago I can follow these described problems. My own experience is very mixed if it comes to such issues. I met both, highly educated and motivated Trinidadians working very professional and also the “typical” Trinidadian worker, getting defensive on every suggestion of improvement and having real problems with time management and authorities.
Implementing changes into an average Trinidadian company is a real challenge to every manager involved. The very positive aspect to me is the experience and learning factor.
It is so very easy to change habits and policies in an environment as you find it in Europe, preferable in Austria, Germany, Italy and France where no worker would ever question your order but just run to get it done asap. Yet, you suddenly find yourself involved with staff that want to know why and how and by the way “me was limin so me not doin nothing now ‘cause me tired, boss”.
It is a true challenge and even as an international experienced manager you have to re-think and be creative. Also it can be very tiring – to an European manager it seems there is a lot of time wasted – but let me tell you something: it is not! Job wise there is nothing like the satisfaction of getting the team working and the job done, especially in Trinidad, with Trinidadians.
And PLEASE don’t misunderstand me! There are true and amazing professionals out there I have the most respect for and fun working with!!! …. Dirk
Interesting thoughts. Is it true that Trinis are typically resistant to suggestions of improvement? Do you agree that staff having to work long hours is due to poor project management and bad senior management? What are your feelings on our “carnival” mentality and resulting lack of productivity? ….. Ed.
We would love to hear what you think of this issue of CRS News. And of course, if you have any suggestions for upcoming issues that you would like to share with us, please send those too.