Should you accept a counter offer?
This is an age-old debate. The short answer from most people is No.
Think about it this way, when you go to break up with your significant other, would you believe them if they said they will change? They have had all this time to work on things, and they haven’t changed, why would they now?
Breaking up with your employer is the same way. Unless of course you were shopping for a counter-offer just to get a pay raise.
You can convince yourself, that your employer will now treat you better. Fix the things that are bothering you. Appreciate you more. Give you that pay raise. But again, if they haven’t yet, why would they now?
This isn’t a discussion of things that you need changed, the last straw has broke the camel’s back.
Before breaking up though, you should have multiple conversations of things that are wrong. Objective, non-emotional conversation. Keep your cool.
Going back to the relationship analogy, you don’t just up and divorce your SO. You have conversations before. You talk about it.
There are also other reasons to not give into a counter-offer. Your employer, might just be buying time to replace you. You have shown your hand. They know you are/were looking. They know you are unhappy. You have now given them ammunition to essentially find your replacement and fire you.
They will most likely find a person who is cheaper than you and doesn’t know all the problems with the company/team.
There is a reason why you started looking for a new job, don’t ignore it. Also, don’t just shop around for a counter offer to get a pay raise. There are better ways to ask for a raise than an ultimatum.