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Approach all job offers under the assumption that you will receive a counteroffer, even if you think it will never happen. Keep in mind that 90% of all accepted counteroffers do not work out within six months. Why do you think that is? (Answer: because the original reason for leaving still exists.)
According to a ComputerWorld survey on March 16, 1998, page 76, How To Handle An IT Counteroffer: "Recently, while attending a Professionals in Human Resources Association meeting, the question of whether to issue a counteroffer was posed. Approximately 200 human resources managers were there. The members of each table had to decide what they would do in this particular case. Every table's representative stood up and says he would issue a counteroffer to buy enough time to replace the individual." The Houston Chronicle article "Beware of the Ramifications of an Employer's Counter Offer" on April 27, 1997 said, "The present employer is just buying time with short-term solutions. It's not a long-term answer. While promising a promotion, more money and better working conditions, chances are the company is already looking for your replacement...... ask yourself: 'Why did I have to threaten to get to get solutions to my consensus?' Once you have given notice, stick with your decision."
The Atlanta Journal article "Jumping Ship? Don't be Waylaid" article on March 24, 1996: "Sometimes staying works. Mostly, it doesn't. Her advice to anyone contemplating a counteroffer: 'Don't believe it. Don't entertain it. In the heat of the moment, the company will say things that won't come to pass,' she says. 'The company oversells, and the person ends up being disgusted. Many employers - though they won't admit it - will make a counteroffer and then quietly start looking for a replacement. Then you’re leaving on the employer's timetable, and not yours. There is anger and mistrust from both sides."
Finally, on December 11, 1983 the National Business Employment Weekly article "Counteroffer Acceptance - Road to Career Ruin" said, "...counteroffers should never be accepted, EVER! Interviews with employers who make counteroffers, and employees who accept them, have shown that as tempting as they may be, acceptance may cause career suicide.
What really goes through a boss' mind when someone quits?
This couldn't be happening at a worse time.
This is one of my best people. If I let him quit now, it'll wreak havoc on the morale of the department.
I've already got one opening in my department. I don't need another one right now.
This will probably screw up the entire vacation schedule.
I'm working as hard as I can, and I don't need to do his work, too.
If I lose another good employee, the company might decide to 'lose' me too.
My review is coming up and this will make me look bad.
Maybe I can keep him on until I find a suitable replacement.
Any situation in which an employee is forced to get an outside offer before the present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or better working conditions is suspect.
No matter what the company says when making its counteroffer, you will always be considered a fidelity risk. Having once demonstrated your lack of loyalty (for whatever reason), you will lose your status as a 'team player' and your place in the inner circle.
Counteroffers are usually nothing more than stall devices to give your employers time to replace you.
Your reasons for wanting to leave still exist. Conditions are just made a bit more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion or promises made to keep you.
Counteroffers are only made in response to a threat to quit. Will you have to solicit an offer and threaten to quit every time you deserve better working conditions?
Decent and well-managed companies don't make counteroffers … EVER! Their policies are fair and equitable. They will not be subjected to 'counteroffer coercion' or what   they perceive as blackmail.
Be careful anytime you might be in a position to receive a counteroffer. Be firm when you resign and tell your boss that your decision is not reversible.
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