Why was I job searching to begin with?
Was it simply because of your job responsibilities, or was there more to it? Your salary perhaps? Your co-workers, boss, or hours? A counter offer, depending on what your company promises, could address some of those issues – but would it last? If it has something to do with your job responsibilities or your boss, whatever was promised to make you stay would likely end up being a temporary solution. Why not make a list to weigh up the pros and cons of staying with your current employer? If presented with a counter offer, refer back to your list. It will remind you why you are dissatisfied in your current employment.
Why did I have to hand in my notice for my employer to offer me a raise?
Why is your current employer only now acknowledging how valuable you are to the firm? If you decide to accept the counter offer, consider whether it is likely to cause strain between you and your boss or worse still, what if you are only buying time for them to conveniently find your replacement? It has been my experience that if an employee wants to leave once, they will want to leave again and a salary change rarely makes a difference. Over all, you might want to consider whether you really want to continue to work for a company that undervalues you and doesn’t make a change until you have one foot out the door.
Could I be turning down a great opportunity to advance my career?
If you managed to interview with and subsequently secure a job with a leading industry company, do you really want to walk away from it? Consider that you might be squashing any likelihood of getting your foot in the door with them again. Be sensible and consider all your options before closing the door of opportunity that you were waiting for. Plus, how many times are you going to be offered a great opportunity to enhance your career?
Think about it: counter offers are all about timing. Good timing for you and bad timing for your employer. You have taken the time to search and secure alternate employment. You are ready. An employer will often make big promises to you because this is a bad time for them to look for a replacement.