Good for your ego, but bad for your career!
Do you know why you want to leave your existing employer?
Once you have decided to leave, then stick to your decision!
Why people entertain or take counter offers:
More Money; If you feel you are underpaid for the role you do, don’t use the offer of alternative employment as a bargaining tool to get a higher salary. If your motivation is that you want more money, talk to your existing boss BEFORE you start looking for another job.
Promotion; If you think there is any possibility that your current employer could offer you a promotion or more interesting role and you would be happy staying with them, talk to your boss BEFORE you start looking for another job.
Why is it so dangerous to either use the offer of alternative employment to get what you want from your present employer, or to allow them to change your mind after you have accepted an offer? – Well, apart from the waste of time and effort for both you and everyone else involved in the process if you go on interviews elsewhere and end up staying put, consider the following;
Just as you must look after your best interests, so will your current employer. Therefore if your timing does not fit in with their plans they will tempt you to stay by offering you a higher salary and / or promotion, additional company benefits, a new job title, additional responsibilities, a change in role, more involvement in projects that interest you or any combination of these.
Why would they be so keen to get you to stay? – because it will be cheaper and easier for them in the short term, even if they have to pay you a bit more, than for them to go through an expensive and disruptive recruitment process they hadn’t planned on.
Of course, we all have egos and it is flattering to be given a counteroffer and to believe what you are being told about how valuable you are. However, even if both you and your boss are genuine in wanting to continue to work together, most people find that the relationship is never quite the same as it was before as quite naturally some of the trust has gone.
Always fully explore the options available to you with your existing employer before looking for a new employer. However, once you have decided that the best thing for your career is to move on, find the role you want, accept it and stick to your decision. Changing your mind can make you look indecisive and unprofessional and you will almost certainly end up burning bridges with your recruiter!