16 Reasons Why Employees Choose To Leave Their Jobs

Updated July 31, 2023

There may come a time in your career when you decide to move on from your current job. The reasons for this decision can vary depending on your workplace and personal life. For employers to keep employees around, they need to understand why employees want to leave the company.

In this article, we share 16 common reasons employees leave their current job.

Related: How To Explain Your Reasons for Leaving a Job (With Examples)

Why it's important to know the reasons employees leave

It's important to know why employees leave because when a company has a high turnover rate, this could signify low employee job satisfaction. Hiring new employees to fill these openings requires time and effort, which is why it's useful for employers to find ways to keep their current employees around. By knowing the reasons employees leave, employers can directly solve a reoccurring issue and make a more pleasant work environment for everyone.

Related: Q&A: Should I Quit My Job? 10 Acceptable Reasons To Resign

Common reasons employees leave their job

These are the top reasons employees decide to quit their jobs:

1. Needing more of a challenge

After working at the same job for a while, you start to get to know all of your tasks and responsibilities quite well. When there's little more to learn in your role, you may start to feel like you are ready for more of a challenge. This is a natural part of growing in your career, especially as you become interested in learning new skills.

Related: 8 Common Exit Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

2. Looking for a higher salary

When you feel like you're underpaid for the work you do, it may be time to move on to a new job. Likewise, you may be ready to accept more responsibilities and with that comes more pay. As your lifestyle changes or your family grows, you may decide that you need to make more money to afford your living expenses.

3. Feeling uninspired

What started as an exciting opportunity may eventually leave you feeling uninspired over time. Finding a new job is a great way to feel passionate about your work once again. Your current company may not have opportunities for you to do meaningful work, which is why your next employer's values and mission must align with your own.

Related: How To Know When It Is Time To Leave a Job

4. Wanting to feel valued

Feeling replaceable at your job may make you want to search for a position where your efforts are valued more. It feels good to know your work is important and making an impact on the success of the company. Sometimes entry-level positions can make this challenging since you have fewer responsibilities. In this scenario, you may be ready for a higher-level job.

5. Seeking a better management relationship

As you get into your career, you may discover that you get along with some people better than others. This is a perfectly normal part of working at any business, although finding a new job may allow you to build healthier relationships. If you feel like you need a more supportive manager or supervisor, it may be time to look for a company that values employee-manager relationships more.

6. Searching for job growth and career advancement

If your current employer is limited in the number of promotions or learning opportunities they can offer, you may want to find an employer who has these resources. Having room to grow in your career is an important part of feeling fulfilled. Quality employers offer continued education, like workshops, seminars, lectures or even tuition reimbursement.

Related: Q&A: How Long Should You Stay at a Job?

7. Needing more feedback or structure

Some people thrive off a more fluid work environment while others need more structure. Consistently feeling unsure about how your manager views your progress and effort is a common reason to look for a new job. An integral part of improving your performance is to get regular feedback from your employer. Find a job where they have regular performance reviews.

Related: 12 Principles of Feedback for Constructive Results

8. Wanting a different work environment

Every company has a different kind of work environment. This could be the actual structure of the workplace, such as closed offices, an open layout or cubicles. It can also refer to the company's culture, whether it is more casual, social or professional. You may want a job that offers you a work environment you feel the most comfortable working.

Related: 5 Types of Work Environments (And How To Find the One for You)

9. Looking to live somewhere else

There are many reasons you might want to move, such as living expenses or things to do. You may decide that you'd rather live somewhere closer to family. Likewise, many people who work in the city may look for a job in the suburbs when they are ready to start a family. If your job doesn't offer remote work and you want to move, you may need to look for a new job.

Related: 8 Steps to Take When Relocating for a Job

10. Feeling conflicted with workplace policies

Many employees enjoy a workplace that offers flexible scheduling and telecommuting opportunities. If you feel like your work policies make it challenging to do this, many other companies offer such benefits. Likewise, you may find that your company's paid-time-off and sick leave policies don't align with your personal needs. These are all common reasons many people quit their job.

Related: 5 Effective Strategies and Steps for Conflict Resolution

11. Thinking that their job has changed

When you first start a job, the employer lays out all of your benefits, perks and responsibilities. As your company evolves, you may realize that your job looks quite different from when you first started. This could mean that some of your perks have been reduced or that you're doing work you didn't apply to do.

12. Wanting a clearer company vision

A central part of finding a meaningful job is working for a company with a clear vision. If your employer's goals and mission statement are unclear, you may feel interested in finding a company with clearer values. This way, you can better understand how your contributions are helping the company meet its larger goals.

Related: 10 Mission, Vision and Value Statement Examples (Plus Tips)

13. Needing a better work-life balance

Having time for your friends, family and hobbies is an important part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You may find that outside of working hours your manager is always contacting you or that you are constantly working overtime. At some point, this can impact your personal time and make you feel burnt out. Looking for a new job that values employees' personal time can help you achieve this balance once again.

14. Seeking a more financially secure company

Things like budget cuts and limited resources can be challenging to work with. As your company experiences financial hardships, you may feel less secure in your role. Finding a job that offers fair wages, room to grow, learning opportunities and regular pay increases can help you feel more confident that your company is doing well financially.

15. Wanting more independence

Some managers use micromanaging as a way to keep track of everything you do. This can make you feel like you need more independence and autonomy in your role. A quality employer trusts their employees and gives them a chance to figure out things on their own.

16. Looking for more recognition

Positive feedback and praise are how managers can make their employees feel more appreciated. Working for a company that rarely gives you recognition can make it challenging to feel motivated each day. Quitting your job and finding one that gives credit to hard-working employees can make you feel more valued.

Related: 8 Types of Employee Recognition (And Why It's Important)

Frequently asked questions

How do you answer when an interviewer asks why you're leaving your current job?

If an interviewer asks why you're leaving your current job, try being honest. An authentic response assures interviewers of your credibility. It can also help them determine whether you're the right fit for the available role, which can help save you and the employer significant time. Additionally, try to provide a positive answer to assure recruiters of your enthusiasm for the position.

For instance, you might explain that your current job isn't challenging you enough. By emphasizing your willingness to accept more responsibility and develop new skills, you show the hiring manager that you're eager to help their organization grow.

Is burnout a good reason to quit your job?

Burnout can sometimes be a valid reason to quit your job. If burnout is the only issue you have, try implementing strategies to overcome stress since you may experience it at other companies if you don't fix the core problem. For instance, you can establish boundaries and practice self-care to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

How do managers feel when you quit?

A manager typically accepts an employee's resignation with understanding, as long as the employee provides the appropriate notice. Managers are often happy when their employees use their training and cultivated skills to advance their careers.

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