Beware of the Counter Offer
Counter offers come when you inform your employer you are leaving. Don't take them, recommend career experts Valerie Fontaine and Roberta Kass.
Employers make counter offers primarily because they don't want to be the one fired and also they probably need time to scout up a replacement for you. Yes, in some cases, your skills are unique. The employer perceives you as vital to the operation and will pull out all stops to keep you.
However, those situations are rare in this era where there is a glut of just about every skill set.
What you need to consider before accepting that counter offer are some realities.
For example, since you have already registered your dissatisfaction with the present regime by opting to go, your loyalty has to be in doubt. Your chances of upward mobility with that employer are probably doomed. After all, you could fly the coop again, at any future time, using the counter offer as leverage for a lot more money and power somewhere else.
Also, given this iffy employment marketplace, if there are cutbacks, you are likely to be on the short list to go. No one, especially employers, like a possible rejection. It can leave a sour taste in their mouth.
Face it, you decided to leave for a reason or several of them. Stick with that agenda. You may be backing off just because of fear of the unknown. After all, you don't know and won't know what you're getting into until you're into it.
Sure, you may be flattered by a counter offer, but few of those who accept them thrive at that old workplace.