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Personal Development

Common Reasons for Leaving a Job

Common Reasons for Leaving a Job

5 Minute Read

It’s true: Life is way too short for a boring job. But sadly, a lot of people get stuck doing work they hate. 

Myth: You Can’t Leave Your Job

Even when we know we’re in a bad work situation, sometimes we stay anyway because we’re scared. We’re scared of trying—and failing—at something new; scared of financial setbacks; scared of what our boss, coworkers, or family will say or think about us—the list goes on. 

But folks, you can’t let those fears turn into excuses that keep you trudging day after day to a job that makes you miserable. 

So here are the three biggest reasons to leave a job. If you’re currently experiencing one or more of these, it might be time to call it quits (it’s not you, it’s them) and head toward something better! 

1. You don’t feel any connection to your work.

This Gallup poll says it all: Right now, about 70% of Americans are not engaged at their jobs.(1)  Monday mornings are a nightmare for them, and they’re just living for the weekend. But that’s not really living at all. 

Human beings need to feel a connection to their work in order to thrive. They need to be passionate about it. When there’s no meaning in it for them, they might as well be staring at a brick wall all day. And no one wants to do that.

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That’s exactly why you have to find your sweet spot—the point at which your greatest talents and greatest passions intersect. In other words, it’s using what you do best to do what you love most. You were put on this earth with a specific role that only you can fill. You just have to figure out what it is and be intentional about pursuing it. 

When you’re in your sweet spot, you no longer feel like you’re just working a J-O-B. Sure, there will be daily frustrations and challenges, but there will be a greater purpose behind them—and that makes it all worthwhile.

2. You don’t have the opportunity to grow.

If you’re not being challenged to reach your full potential at work, and if you never get the chance to stretch yourself beyond the confines of your comfort zone, you get stuck. You hit a lid. And you die a little on the inside.

Now, part of that is on you. It’s your responsibility to take the initiative and keep developing your skills both in and outside of work. But on the other hand, the job might be holding you back because it’s just not challenging enough for you. Or there just aren’t many opportunities for you to branch out even though you’re dedicated and motivated.

It’s worth a conversation with your boss to see if there’s any potential for future growth in your position. But if not—or if it’s promised and not delivered—then you might be needing my Resumé and Interview Guides soon. 

Resume and Interview Guides by Ken Coleman

3. You’re in a toxic culture.

Did you hear what so-and-so said about what’s-his-name? I didn’t, because I don’t tolerate gossip in the workplace. And you shouldn’t either. 

But gossip isn’t the only thing that contributes to a toxic work environment. Negative attitudes, backbiting and general pettiness from your boss or your team can create serious problems for everyone. Anxiety increases, productivity decreases, and trust disappears completely in that kind of company culture. 

Team members and leaders need to build each other up, not tear each other down. Yes, they should definitely push each other to be better, but they should also celebrate wins when they happen—and not doing so can lead to low morale. In fact, about 79% of people who leave their jobs gave “lack of appreciation” as their reason.(2)

If possible, it’s important to get a sense of the workplace culture before you accept the job—because it’s a waste of time to spend 40 hours of your week in a place that compromises your morals and values, no matter how hefty the paycheck. But if you’re just now realizing that your company environment is worse than you expected, it’s not too late to get out and find something that actually makes you excited to go to work!

Other Common Reasons People Leave a Job

I’ve given my top three, but there are a wide range of reasons for leaving a job and finding new career opportunities. Here are a few more I hear people give often:

  • Their leaders micromanage them instead of trusting them to do the job well.
  • They’re underpaid for their skill and experience.
  • They have no work-life balance.
  • They aren’t given enough feedback on their work.
  • Their company has money problems.
  • They’re in the dark about what’s really going on in the company.
  • Their company doesn’t offer any professional development for employees who want to grow.
  • They don’t want a traditional 9-to-5 schedule anymore. 

Need help with your next step?

I talk to people from all over the country and beyond about these same issues every day on The Ken Coleman Show. If you need advice on finding and pursuing your dream job, listen to the show or—even better—call in at (844) 747-2577. 

About Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman is a career expert and national radio host of The Ken Coleman Show.

Pulling from his own personal struggles, missed opportunities, and career successes, Coleman helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality.

Listen to The Ken Coleman Show on SiriusXM or wherever you listen to podcasts and connect with Ken at kencoleman.com.