People quit their jobs every day. In fact, somebody just gave their two-week notice in the time it took for you to read this sentence.
But why do people quit their jobs?
Many different theories have been conjured up through the years, some of which have evolved into “conventional wisdom.” (Example: “People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss.”)
It’s true that a bad boss or manager can very well be the reason a person leaves their position, but a recent survey by social media site LinkedIn paints a rather different picture. While senior management often plays a role in why people leave, it does not represent the number-one reason they do so.
Linked used surveys and other data to analyze the psychology and motivations of recent job switchers. As part of those surveys, which involved more than 10,000 participants, the social media site asked people the top reason they left their old job.
Below are LinkedIn’s top reasons why people quit their jobs.
- I was concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement. (45%)
- I was unsatisfied with the leadership of senior management. (41%)
- I was unsatisfied with the work environment/culture. (36%)
- I wanted more challenging work. (36%)
- I was unsatisfied with the compensation/benefits. (34%)
- I was unsatisfied with rewards/recognition for my contributions. (32%)
As you can see, the number-one reason people quit their job is the lack of opportunities for advancement, perceived or otherwise. Why “perceived”? Because there are one of two possibilities regarding a situation such as this one:
- The person feels as though there are no opportunities for advancement because there really are no opportunities
- The person feels as though there are no opportunities, but there actually are opportunities of which they are not aware
There are situations in which the second scenario is the case, which is unfortunate. That means people are leaving their job (and their employer) for reasons that don’t really exist.
If you’re an employer or manager, make sure that your employees know the career path that is available to them. Be proactive about communicating this information.
If you’re an employee, be sure to find out what your options are for career advancement with your current employer. You’re well within your rights to know, and if you don’t, you might just leave those options behind when you walk out the door.