Giving notice is never easy. Usually your employer is very understanding. Everyone’s been there before, even your boss. Initially they may be in shock and ask where you are going. They may try and make some allowance to try and convince you to stay. There’s quite a bit of research on accepting counter offers. I’ve outlined some findings below. It’s useful information to take into consideration should you be faced with these circumstances.

- In a survey done by the Wall Street Journal, 93% of those who accepted a counter offer left within 18 months (some voluntarily and some fired) and all the remaining 7% were actively seeking new employment.

- Employers often make counteroffers in a moment of panic. It’s usually a stop gap measure to allow time to deal with the situation. After the initial relief passes, you may find your relationship with your employer- and your standing with the company – has fundamentally changed. You’re now the one who was looking to leave. You’re no longer part of the inner circle, and you might be at the top of the list if your company needs to make cutbacks in the future.

- There’s a reason you started job-searching in the first place. While more money is always a motivator, more often, there are also other factors that drove you to look: personality fit, disliking your boss, boredom with work, lack of recognition, insane deadlines, lack of upward mobility, work life balance, commute, etc. Those factors aren’t going change, and will likely start bothering you again as soon as you adjust to your raise.

- Even if you get more money out of your company now, think about what it took to get it. You needed to have one foot out the door to get recognized, and there’s no reason to think that future salary increases will be any easier. If more money is offered, it is generally a raise pushed up. The next time you want a raise, you might even be refused altogether on the grounds that “we just gave you that big increase when you were thinking about leaving.” Many times a counter offer is filled with promises that aren’t a guarantee and may not come to fruition.

Laura B. McCoy