Every year over millions of people resign from their jobs. In fact, according to statistics employees in the United States change their job once every three years on average. What makes people resign from their jobs?
As a former human resources manager working for several large organizations, I have had the opportunity to witness a variety of different reasons behind job resignations and have been able to gain an insight into the motives and rationale behind the decision. Here are the top 10 reasons why people resign:
1. Lack of Career Advancement Opportunities. When students graduate from college they envisage getting a well paid job and climbing up the employment ladder. They expect promotions and variety at work. However, the reality is usually different from their expectations and when the organization they are working under does not recognize their talents; employees become frustrated and decide to leave in order to seek opportunities elsewhere.
2. Salary Expectations. Fresh graduates with very little work experience are usually paid less than the employees they work alongside even though they may do the same job. After a few years their salary usually increases but sometimes the increase may be not as substantial as they had hoped. Another pay related reason for leaving a job may be because the organization they are working for is paying one of the lowest salaries in the industry. It is not uncommon for people working in the same industry but different companies to become friends (i.e. marketing) and discuss salaries and conditions. When someone finds out one company offers more than the other for the same amount of work, they often decide to leave.
3. Work Related Stress. Long work hours and constant pressure is one of the most common reasons people resign. Stress is a major problem in organizations that are only focused with performance and return on investment. Stressed employees perform less productively and their work often affects their personal life to the point where they have no choice but to quit. Despite high salaries and a multitude of benefits, employees usually value their well being more than money and will not hesitate to leave.
4. Management Problems. Lack of leadership and poor delegation are the two specific management problems which cause friction with employees. Poor management can cause high employee turnover which results in increased costs of workforce and a team with low motivation and morale due to the constantly flow of new team members. Management problems are seen by employees as a long term problem so they decide to resign in order to avoid it.
5. Employee Disputes. An unhappy workplace is usually due to employee disputes and grievances. Although one may believe that everyone in an organization works towards the same goals, there can be disagreements and arguments from time to time. Sometimes these arguments become very heated and cause unhappiness among employees causing them to resign. Employee disputes may be a frequent occurrence in some organizations but fortunately the majority of them can be fixed with some open discussion via an intermediary such as a manager or supervisor. Regular team building activities can also be a method to allow employees to get to know one another.
6. Moving Abroad. There are many reasons why someone may move abroad while in employment. Perhaps their family is relocating or their partner has just received a promotion in another country that they could not turn down. Whatever the reason, the employee may be apprehensive but excited about starting a new life elsewhere.
7. Starting A Family. Looking after a family is a job in itself and when two parents are both professionals in their respective fields and money is not an issue; the only thing that is missing is giving attention to kids, especially newborns. A lot of employees leave their jobs to look after their children and this is not limited to females as an increasing amount of males have become "house husbands".
8. Change of Career. People have a dream job but many do not end up with it. Some employees attempt to attain their dream job by resigning and having a complete change of career. From past experience, bankers have decided to quit and become restaurant owners and marketers have become interior designers. Employees who decide to change careers take on a lot of risk and some may return to their old jobs in the future.
9. Starting Own Business. Some people dream of having their own business and think about their current job as just a way to pay their bills. Those who are fortunate and brave enough to start their own business usually leave their positions when they have saved enough money to pay their bills for at least 8 months and have enough starting capital for their new business. There have been many cases where employees have worked on their businesses in their spare time and have built them up to a level allows them to earn more than their current job. These employees will often leave to give 100% focus to their own ventures.
10. New Job Offer. The corporate world is a cut-throat business and when someone at another firm recognizes a key employee at a rival firm, they will most likely offer them a job. Employees often leave their existing job for a similar role at another company in the same industry but with better pay and benefits.
There are many reasons why an employee may leave a job. For the employee, it is important to resign with dignity and, for the employer, it is important to accept resignations with grace.