Feeling flattered because you turned in your resignation letter and your boss offered you a higher salary if you remained in your current job? Don’t let your ego cloud your judgment. Look your boss in the eyes, smile politely and say “No, thank you” to that counter offer. Here’s why.

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It was a moment in my career that I will never forget. I had accepted a new job at a different company, and when I went into my boss’s office to quit, with resignation letter in hand, he offered me a higher salary if I would remain in my current job.

Even if you think this would never happen to you, it’s best to prepare in advance so you’ll feel comfortable with your response, which should be: “No, thank you.”

Surprised that I’m telling you to decline a counteroffer? Here’s why.

If you had followed the process I explained in a previous blog — analyzing the reasons why you want to change jobs — then you already would have identified the issues that were within your manager’s or your ability to control. And you already would have worked through ways of fixing those issues.

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If you felt you were underpaid, for example, you would have asked your boss for a raise. If you were bored in your job and wanted more challenging work, you would have discussed this with your manager and asked for projects or tasks to broaden or deepen your work experience.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to change jobs, you would have analyzed them and made every attempt to fix the issues that were possible to fix. So what does that leave you? Issues that weren’t fixable — the deal-breakers. These were the reasons you found a new job that better fits your career requirements or goals. So why would you suddenly want to stay in your current job?

If you weren’t valuable enough to be given a raise before, why would your boss give you more money now that you’re leaving? Most likely, it’s not because you’ve suddenly become a more valuable employee. It’s because your manager doesn’t want to deal with the work disruption your departure could create.

Don’t let your ego cloud your judgment. If you already did your homework, feel secure about the process you went through to seek a different job.

If you begin to second-guess your acceptance of the new job and consider accepting your manager’s counteroffer, review each of your reasons for wanting to switch jobs and take an honest look at your deal-breaker issues. Will they somehow magically disappear if you accept the counter offer? Nope. So look your boss in the eye, smile politely and say “No, thank you” to that counteroffer.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at lquast@careerwomaninc.com.