A former boss of mine would never counter a offer when the employee had initiated the contact, his opinion was that there will always be someone willing to pay more for services. He would counter when the offer was not solicited by the employee, especially if the employee's attitude was, I'd like to stay, however, ... He knew he had to pay market rates for staff, and what better way to establish market rates. Depending upon your company's attitude, stating that you were approached (without identifying the other company or the offer) and you would like your value to the company reappraised may be the way to go.When I was in this position, I identified the company and not their offer and made it clear I wanted to stay, but I needed to be paid appropriately. I also stated that I believed I was more valuable to my current company. The reason I would not reveal the offer amount was:1) I wasn't looking for a counter offer or match, I wanted to be paid for my value. If I was perceived as more valuable at my current company, my pay should reflect it. If I was perceived as more valuable at the other company, their offer would reflect it. 2) I didn't want any perception of a bidding war.My current company offered 5% more than the other company. After agreeing to stay at the new rate I did show the offer letter to prove it was real.You have a responsibility to care for your family, withing ethical boundaries, it supersedes your responsibilities towards your employers. Just as the managers responsibilities to the company supersedes their responsibilities to you. Generally speaking, for line level or junior managers non-compete and no-hire agreements are deemed to stifle competition. Which is why they are unenforceable in some states. Jack
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