Leaving a job is an extremely stressful decision to make. You may worry whether a new job will live up to your expectations. Will you have “buyer’s remorse” after you take the jump? Are you kissing goodbye decent friendships you’ve spent years developing? Will you really be able to live up to your new company’s expectations?
At the same time, you’re also considering the pickle in which you’ll be leaving your current employer. How will the remaining employees handle your leaving? Will they be required to take on your workload until they can fill your position? Will projects you’ve worked on bite the dust once you move on? Will management think less of you for leaving once they consider the cost of hiring and training someone to replace you?
Deep breaths. Although it can be hard to do, there are good and valid reasons for leaving a job. If you take the time to think through your goals and needs, you can put these concerns aside and be confident in your decision to leave a company.
So What is a Good Reason to Leave a Job?
Your reason for leaving one position for a new one will look different from any other person’s. We all have unique needs, opportunities and goals for our careers. But there are a few common reasons for jumping ship that most interviewers deem to be appropriate. Besides wanting a change in career or getting laid off, here are some reasons you might leave a job.
*Employers: take notice. Some of these reasons can be easily combated to avoid turnover of good talent.
1. Your current job isn’t career-worthy.
Do you feel like you just have a job and not a career? If an employer isn’t working hard to engage you and make you feel part of the mission of the company, it can feel like you are simply putting in your hours.
Employers: Not only are employees who are not engaged a flight risk but they tend to be less productive as well.
2. There is no room for advancement at your current company.
Maybe you do feel like a part of something bigger than yourself at your place of employment. But do you have room to grow there? It is a manager’s responsibility to work with their employees to map out a career trajectory.
Employers: Get creative! If there is truly no upward mobility for an employee than you cannot be shocked when they change jobs for a better opportunity.
3. Your training or skills aren’t being used.
You’re still paying for that degree. We can’t blame you for wanting to at least use it. Plus, there’s a reason you studied what you did in school: you clearly have an interest in mastering your subject. If you’re not using your schooling in your current job, you probably aren’t doing work that’s meaningful or interesting to you.
Employers: Understanding an employee’s career goals takes time but is critical to building a productive company.
4. You are dissatisfied with your on-the-job training or learning opportunities.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re unfit for the position you’re in. You’ll feel under the gun each day on the job. If an employer isn’t providing opportunities for you to develop skills, things aren’t likely to improve for you anytime soon. Meanwhile, you aren’t gaining skills that could be used to find a new, better opportunity either. Needless to say, lack of learning opportunities is a good reason to leave a job. In fact, leave before it’s too late for you to gain the skills you need to acquire a better job.
Employers: Companies should invest in their employees by formalizing training programs and offering alternatives for employees to refine their skills.
5. Your performance is going unnoticed.
Good work should be rewarded, or at least recognized, for a job to feel meaningful. If you’ve ever been overlooked for a promotion, you know firsthand that resentment and bitterness can be culter killers.
Employers: Keep lines of communication open when it comes to hirings/firings/promotions/etc.
6. You are underpaid.
If you have a hunch you’re underpaid, you can confirm your suspicions by doing a quick search on Salary.com. Nobody would blame you for leaving a job for a higher salary, if you brought your intentions to your current employer first and had your request for a raise denied. The appeal of an improved benefits package or time off policy is also a reasonable prompt for a job change.
Employers: If your company wants to retain top talent, (who doesn’t), try and be as proactive as possible when it comes to setting fair wages.
7. Your role is mismanaged.
Do you continue running into “red tape” as you try to move initiatives forward? Is management breathing down your neck about the wrong things? Or are the goals set forth for your role unrealistic? No manager is perfect; mismanagement is a common reason for an employee to leave a job.
Employers: Create an environment that allows employees the freedom to voice their opinion. Encouraging communication can reduce issues down the road.
As you deliberate between staying and going, this thought should comfort you: most employers expect some level of turnover in their workforce. If you are confident in your reason for leaving, you have nothing to worry about.