Career Advice

This Is Why People Leave Their Jobs — Would You?

If you haven’t yet left a job, chances are you’ve fantasized about quitting. But why would you leave? A rotten boss, poor pay, a lack of perks—or because you’re just plain bored?

For its newest report, Ladders surveyed its members to find out why they would consider leaving their current job for a new job. The career site discovered that the top reason workers leave their jobs is pay. In fact, 30 percent of people would quit over their salaries.

The No. 2 reason people would leave their jobs, according to the report, is boredom. Some 26.7 percent of people say boredom is the worst part of their jobs and tempts them to quit.

And 18.8 percent of the respondents say they hate their boss, and that poor management is the cause of their dissatisfaction at work. (Anyone who has had a bad boss totally gets this.)

But are all of these reasons valid reasons to leave an otherwise good job? For the answer, we turned to career coach Hallie Crawford, who shares her advice for each complaint here.

You’re unhappy with your pay, and you want to quit.

Before you put in your two weeks’ notice over pay, “take into consideration things such as your years of experience, the area you live in, and the other benefits that come with your position at that organization,” advises Crawford, adding paid time off, flexible scheduling, travel compensation, and signing bonuses to the list of benefits you should consider.

Then, “research what you should be making by reviewing salary ranges on Glassdoor, and by talking to colleagues at other organizations while taking into account all of these elements,” she says. If after weighing these things you still feel you’re being paid unfairly, Crawford suggests negotiating a raise before you quit. “Prepare a presentation showing why you feel you deserve a raise based on your accomplishments,” she says. “If it doesn’t seem that your pay will be adjusted any time in the near future and you are not happy with the benefits you are receiving, then you may want to search for a new job with better pay.”  

You’re so bored you could sleep at your desk—and you want a more exciting job.

You could be bored with your job. Or, you could be suffering from what is called “career burnout.” As Crawford describes it, “this can happen after being in the same position for a long time and you feel you are no longer learning anything new, you have repetitive tasks, or you feel your values have changed and your job is not satisfying your changed values.”

But before you change jobs, “it is good to honestly assess your position and determine if you would feel excited about your job again with a few adjustments,” Crawford says. “For example, sign up for training or take a class to enhance your skill set, identify tasks that would make you feel more engaged, and talk to your boss about changing some of your tasks.” Give these adjustments some time. “If after making these changes you still don’t feel engaged at your job, this may indicate an underlying issue about your career fit,” she says.

You hate your boss and can’t stand to work with him or her another day.

Before you pass the blame—and your resignation letter—to your boss, “you need to ask yourself if you are part of the problem,” Crawford warns. “Do you not like your boss only because they do things a different way than you are used to? Do you not like your boss because their personality type or values are different from yours? Or is it that they give you feedback or criticism?” If you answered yes to any of these questions, “it is worth evaluating whether you need to adjust your style and be more tolerant of theirs,” she says.

However, “if your boss is unhelpful, critical, or abusive, then you would have a good reason to change jobs,” she admits. Even then, though, Crawford encourages you to see if you can work it out first. “For example, could you better anticipate your boss’ needs? Are they micromanaging because you tend to make mistakes, overlook details, or hand in projects late? Talk to your boss about how you could work together more effectively, communicate more effectively and meet in the middle regarding your work styles. If that doesn’t work, you could consider being transferred to a different team with a different manager. And if none of these suggestions work—and over time you are still feeling suffocated by your boss, and it’s impacting your overall job satisfaction—you may want to look for a new job.”


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