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I've found you are counter offered only if you are perceived to be "good" ie a key team member. I've also found it's normal in two situations. For small/medium sized companies there can be counter offers if no one has left in a while (ie year or two), and you are the first 1 or 2 "good" developers try to quit. After that they kind of give up.

The second situation is they're hemorrhaging staff, and will counter everyone, or proactively give raises to stem the tide.

I once took a counter offer that was nearly 50% of my salary. That was too much money to turn down.

> The second situation is they're hemorrhaging staff, and will counter everyone

That's probably how it happened to me. I gave my notice, and people looked worried and had hushed conversations. A couple of hours later, managers from other teams were offering me better roles, but I turned them down, because the reason I was leaving was that I didn't like the way the company had treated me up to that point.

The problem with companies that act like that is that if they believed I deserved a better position, the time to act was when I had made it known I was unhappy, not when I'd already made the decision to leave. I'd already applied for internal promotion a couple of months before, and they could have acted then instead of just never getting back to me.

How clear had you been in 1:1s that you were unhappy and would consider looking elsewhere?

Being clear about that kind of thing would be a serious career limiting move in all of the companies I worked at. No one likes a whiner, even if whining is justified. Simply put, in a 1:1 you're not in a position of power and therefore your leverage in this negotiation is very weak. If you are vital to the team/project, when seriously threatening to leave, you _are_ in a position of power.

Why do you assume there was 1:1? If there was, why do you assume he had enough trust to that person or that person could do something? He did not liked how the company was treated him, there is no reason to assume 1:1 were not part of the problem, went well or were full of trust.

Nevertheless, it is all the same. If I need to threaten company with leaving (whether with job on hand or in 1:1) in order to be treated better, then I am better off elsewhere.

Many companies treat complains as just whining - they see the goal as letting you talk and have some reassuring speech, not to take action.

You mean besides applying for an internal promotion, I guess. How much clearer could he be at a company where he thought poor treatment was a pervasive problem?

I have seen counteroffers for people who were either underpaid or should have been promoted a long time ago. Once your salary is in line with your standing in the company I haven't seen counteroffers.

Counteroffers aren't always just pay. I had one unusual employee who wanted a very specific, and unorthodox, space turned into his office.

He got it, if you're curious.

Do you mind sharing more about his space request?

He was a DBA and rather antisocial. He wanted his office to be in what was also the wiring closet, which was a space very much away from everyone else, very small, and became his home away from home.

As strange as it may sound, he was worth all his quirks and more. As for quirks, he had plenty. I've never met a better DBA, however. We were working with full TB data sets by 2000. He enabled that, for the most part.

Walmart was in an article touting themselves as the first to deal with a database a TB in size, he found that greatly amusing. I have trouble wrapping my head around databases, I think he just knew them by intuition.

His choice of office space was one of his more mild quirks. I believe he is still retired but I can safely say he enabled us to do things we'd not have been able to do without him.

Edit: I could probably write whole books about the people who worked with me. Getting started in the early 90s seems to have made quite a difference in the people aspect. I never had an HR department and I'm not sure I could have forced one into the mix.

I'd been the original programmer, except I can't code very well. I eventually hired professionals. They, of course, told me how much my code sucked. They were rather blunt about it and I took the hint and got out of their way.

Eventually, the code to enter the server room was changed at the main office. I could have forced them to give me the code but that seemed unwise. I hired people to do things I could not. If I could do it, I wouldn't have hired them. So, I learned to put my ego aside and get out of their way.

This is long enough, but that's the gist of it.

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