Who Quits Their Job in This Economy?

by Safani, Barbara Monday, June 21, 2010
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According to the most recent report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more employees left their jobs voluntarily in March (1.9M) than were laid off (1.8M). You may be wondering why so many are quitting their jobs in what is still a volatile economy, but the reality is that people quit their jobs despite economic indicators for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the reasons employees tell me they quit their jobs or are seriously considering resigning.

1. They were underemployed.

Some people took their jobs in 2008 when the market soured and they compromised to earn a paycheck. They continued searching for other positions and now their hard work has paid off and they have found another position.

2. They were stretched to their limit.

Once heavy layoffs occurred at companies, many were forced to do more with less. Working in an environment that lacks the appropriate resources to get the job done is bound to take its toll. Many employers have not adequately engaged their employees or rewarded them with non-monetary incentives during the lean years — and as a result, some are now losing their star players.

3. Opportunity knocked.

Many kept in touch with recruiters, built a strong network, or regularly checked leads on job boards. And some found offers they couldn’t refuse.For others, there was a ripple effect; when other employees left their jobs for any of the voluntary reasons on this list, it opened up an opportunity for someone else to come in and take their place.

4. They couldn’t stand their boss.

For some, the stress of managing the relationship outweighed the stress of a job search and some felt it was better to quit than potentially be fired and risk a bad reference due to a deteriorating relationship.

5. The job stress was killing them.

Some developed health issues that were exacerbated by the job, and they determined that the only way to redeem their health was to resign from the position and take care of their physical issues.

6. They were bored to tears.

Many came to the realization that they weren’t learning anything new on the job and their chances for upward mobility were limited. Rather than waste away slowly, they made the decision to act on their concerns and re-channel their energy into finding a new, more rewarding position.

7. The company was struggling.

Some saw the writing on the wall and saw signs that even though they had a job today, they may not have one tomorrow. Getting out while they could still collect on whatever benefits and perks they were entitled to seemed like a better plan than waiting until the company had nothing to give them.

8. They were offered a voluntary package.

Frequently when employers know they may be facing a downsizing in the near future, they offer employees an enticing compensation package to voluntarily resign. Voluntary packages generally come with some sort of financial guarantee, which tend to diminish with each new round of offers. Employees who choose to wait out the employer’s rough patch can end up with nothing. Many would rather take the money and run than wait and see where the chips will land.

9. Their life changed.

People also leave jobs to start a family, take care of aging parents, travel around the world, relocate, or make a career change. Responsibilities to others or listening to an inner calling often fuel resignations.

10. They started their own business.

It can be scary to start your own business in a turbulent economy. But some were motivated to do so due to dissatisfaction in their jobs or because they were ready to turn a personal passion into a new career and business.

If you are unemployed or dissatisfied in your current position, you too may benefit from the surge of vacancies left by others who voluntarily resign. A job that is not a good match for another person may be the perfect match for you.