Receiving a counteroffer is flattering.

It means that your current employer values your contributions as a professional – and really doesn’t want to see you go. But for many reasons, including the ones we outline in this earlier post, it may not be in your best interest to accept a counteroffer.

Once you’ve made a decision to part ways with your employer, use these guidelines to turn down a counteroffer the right way, leaving business relationships and your professional reputation intact:

Draft a formal letter.

A printed letter is much more professional than a verbal rejection. Plus, it allows you sufficient time to choose your words carefully and accurately convey your feelings. Lead with the fact that you’re flattered by the fact that they want to keep you, and round out the paragraph with a few positives about your work experience there.

Next, detail the reasons why a career move is in your best interest, being careful to take the high road. For example, if your boss was a nightmare or the corporate culture was toxic, focus on the positive aspects of the new opportunity instead of the negative aspects of your old job. Remember: You may need a reference from this employer in the future, so be tactful, diplomatic and positive.

Close the letter by thanking your employer for the work experience and expressing your desire to leave on good terms.

Deliver the letter in person.

When you hand it over, explain what the letter contains and briefly review the reasons for your decision.

Stay in control of your emotions.

Parting ways with an employer can stir up a whole host of emotions, ranging from self-doubt and anxiety to frustration and resentment – especially if your employer takes the news poorly. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you; remain professional and stay calm. Resist the temptation to air your grievances before you leave, keeping in mind the fact that a good reference in the future is much more valuable than any satisfaction you’d gain by venting.

Reassure your employer.

Let them know that you will do whatever you can to ensure a smooth transition for your replacement.

Be prepared for it to be your last day.

Your employer may turn down your offer for assisting with the transition process. If you are asked to leave immediately, conduct yourself professionally and comply with the employer’s request.

Is it time to move on – and look for better jobs in the food and beverage industry?

Talk to the experts here at Kinsa. Our discipline-specific food and beverage search partners will confidentially search for positions on your behalf while you continue working.  Get started with Kinsa today or search food & beverage executive and professional jobs here.

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