Hate your job? You are not alone. True job satisfaction is a rare thing indeed but right now you need to be more concerned about job security. With the overall cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, now is not the time for rash decisions. Now is the time for careful deliberation.
Quitting Your Job
Typing “should I quit my job?” into Google will yield an endless stream of sugar-coated advice on why and how to quit your job, starting your own business plus plenty of pep talks about taking control of your destiny and living your dreams.
Generally, the authors of these articles also have a vested interest in getting you to buy into this fantasy, because the next step is to buy their book/course/product.
So let me tell you this straight up – being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, working freelance isn’t easy, internet marketing is tough and takes time to learn, and working from home can also be a very lonely business.
Fact is people rarely, if ever, quit their jobs for idealistic reasons, and neither should you.
How To Quit Your Job
If you harbor fantasises about burning your bridges and telling your boss where to stick it you’re in good company, but whatever you do don’t actually go ahead with it, because that will definitely put you firmly in the minority.
According to The Harvard Business Review, the majority of resignations are done formally and in person, whereas resignations where workers walk out, or just don’t show up at all, are extremely rare.
The rarest resignation of all, however, is the “bridge burning” kind – and with good reason. Our path through life takes all manner of twists and turns and you never know where and when your poor judgement and bad behaviour comes back to haunt you.
Why Do People Quit Their Jobs?
While researching this article we looked at many of the top business publications and websites including Forbes, Fortune Magazine, Inc, The Harvard Business Review and Business Insider.
We also looked at discussions on LinkedIn, as well as surveys and other data, including recruiter data. Recruitment sites like Monster also had plenty of relevant content. Putting it all together I found out the primary reasons why people quit their jobs are pretty much universal.
None of these are likely to come as a huge shock to you. In fact, chances are it’s because of at least one of these that you’re reading this article right now.
What you always need to remember, however, is that life isn’t all black and white. It’s human nature to ask ourselves, “should I stay or quit my job?” without ever thinking about all the other available possibilities such a question automatically excludes – such as changing department, cutting back on your work hours, studying for a career change on the side, taking a sabbatical or just getting away to the countryside for a while for some fresh air!
Top Reasons People Quit Their Jobs
It’s Meaningless: Here we go, another Groundhog Day in hell, endless meetings and corporate waffle about stuff that doesn’t matter – there’s got to be more to life than this! Maybe I should just quit and…?
The Solution: Don’t quit. Instead use your precious free time wisely. Consider a department or career change, see if you can realistically commit to studying part time to update your skills.
I Hate My Boss: Bad bosses come in all different flavors; tyrants, micromanagers, absentee landlords, ditherers, narcissists and, my personal favourite, poor communicators who balk at our lack of psychic prowess.
The Solution: Remain steadfast and professional and whatever you do don’t let emotion dictate your actions. Again use your free time to investigate ALL other options.
I Hate My Co-workers: Here we go again, the same more awkward interactions and water cooler chit chat with these strange people you can’t connect with and all for what, exactly? Sure, you get paid for it but it’s making you miserable.
The Solution: According to recent Gallup poll having good work banter is a major factor in job satisfaction. Without it, workers are far more likely to seek employment elsewhere. So if you feel likewise you need to ask yourself whether your co-workers are the real reason you’re unhappy at work, or whether there are other factors also which you have more control over.
Underpaid: Poor salaries, or the sense that you’re not being paid what you deserve, is one of the most common reasons people quit their jobs across all the sites we looked at, which is why it’s third on our list.
The Solution: Do your research – how much are similar positions paying? Are your expectations realistic? Try to discuss this with your superiors first and see – perhaps they’ll agree to a pay rise. If not look elsewhere. Be sure to state your salary expectations straight up, but obviously don’t cite your salary as the reason you want to leave your current position.
Underappreciated: Feeling unappreciated by your boss, or by the company as a whole, is yet another common story. Often times it also goes hand in hand with the salary issue mentioned above. Other times it’s part of an overall sense that that company doesn’t care about its workers.
The Solution: Avoid brinkmanship; I’ve seen so many people lose their jobs because they dropped an ultimatum, “do this or I’ll quit.” Dialogue works better every time and, failing that, try looking elsewhere.
Lack of Recognition: Similar to above, but this one is more about direct recognition for your work and overall contributions to the company. It’s not always about money – sometimes all we ever need to feel motivated is a pat on the back and a friendly “well done”. Though for some companies even that’s too much.
The Solution: If it’s really getting to you it’s time to dust off your CV and prepare to move on. It could well be the smartest career move you ever made.
Lack of Opportunities: You bust your ass and get nowhere, you’re stuck in a rut and worst of all you see those newbies getting promoted ahead of you – how did HE get that promotion? Bitterness builds up inside you until the thought of going in there makes you sick.
The Solution: Avoid falling into the resentment trap and instead take positive action. Work on developing your skillsets, consider moving departments and try talking with recruiters to see what insights they may have that could help advance your career goals.
Lack of Development: Day after day you perform the same menial tasks, you’re better than this, and you’d like to better yourself but your boss doesn’t care. You’d like to learn more, get more experience on the job and if not that’s it, you’ll go looking for more challenging and fulfilling work elsewhere.
The Solution: Sure it would be nice to have all of the above but maybe now’s not the time to be making waves. There’s plenty of ways you can find challenge and fulfilment outside of your job – and of course these can be always added to your CV later when you’re better prepared to jump ship.
Lack of Benefits: Sure, the salary’s ok but you’d like more perks and benefits, some proper healthcare for one thing.
The Solution: Don’t quit because of something so trite! Instead look on this as a chance to develop and hone your negotiating skills. If, later, you feel you’ve tried your best and still they haven’t budged an inch, then it’s time start thinking about looking elsewhere.
Lack of Ethics: This can be a tough one – sometimes the very nature of the business or the company you work for can be in direct conflict with your own personal morality.
The Solution: If this is literally keeping you up at night, causing you stress and otherwise draining you mentally then it’s time to move on.
Stress: The health risks of stress should never be underestimated. Overwork, exhaustion and anxiety all take their toll, add to this hectic commutes, a poor diet of convenience foods and lack of work/life balance and your job could be, quite literally, killing you.
Solution: It’s time for a holiday, you don’t need to go anywhere, just take a break, a deep breath and a big step back to get some perspective. Only by disconnecting fully will you be able to make the right decision about your future.
Environment/Culture Disconnect: Work environments differ across industries and company cultures can vary wildly and it feeling like an outsider can increase your workplace stress enormously.
Solution: Your job is like any other relationship and, as such, it’s important that you compliment each other. If, for example, you’re a single parent in an office full of party animals, you might experience a sense of alienation and perhaps indirect discrimination because you don’t “fit in”. But of course, as with any relationship, breaking up is hard to do.
Still Want To Quit?
Such a major decision should never be taken lightly. So take a step back and ensure you’re not letting your emotions cloud your judgement. Your decision should be based on calm, rational deliberation and always keeping in mind your monthly budget. Never do anything you can’t afford to do.