Why the Best Employees Quit & You Should Too

In the lifecycle of a company, the best employees tend to be the first to quit when things are going down hill. If you are thinking about quitting your job you might might be in good company. Here are 5 reasons that top employees quit their job and why you should probably quit your job too

Top Employees Quit Because of Lack of Support

People who live the richest and most productive lives all know one thing, your job is the most important educational experience of your life.

It is a common misconception that a person’s college or formal education is what sets them up for financial success later in life. But nothing could be further from the truth.

While having a degree or certain work experience can get you in the door, it is what you learn during your professional career that sets you apart. For example, if a degree were enough then all medical doctors should be doing excellent financially, yet most earn at least a million less over their life than if they had just worked a $50k / year job instead.

If your boss and company is not actively helping your improve your skills, then staying in that position is a huge mistake. A mistake that could easily cause you millions of dollars over your lifetime.

Smart Workers Only Stay in Jobs with Room for Growth

Another trap which smart workers avoid is getting too comfortable with their current level of achievement. Staying in a job with no room for growth is a huge financial mistake.

Typically, when employees think of growth they think of moving up in the management structure. But when I say growth, I’m not necessarily talking about this path.

No matter your particular skill or profession, you should be looking for ways leverage what you’ve learned to provide more value to more people. This can take two forms in general –

  1. Find ways to serve more customers
  2. Expand the scope of what you do

Imagine, for example, the career of a web designer. At first they will be learning their tools, industry practices, and developing their talents. So, initially, a junior position designing individual pages, or bits of pages, is perfect for them to learn and grow.

Over time this designer will have a handle on these parts of their craft. And, would benefit from taking on senior designer tasks such as harmonizing the design of many pages across a site, fitting designs with customer needs, and communicating more directly with clients.

It is at this point that many people get stuck. Many companies are happy for you to just be a junior designer or just be a senior designer. They have no need for you to develop additional skills.

Ideally, however, you would grow even past the role of senior designer. The first route to this would be to serve more customers, for instance by modifying what you do to fit other markets. Or, through automation or passing on the less skilled tasks to subordinates so you can serve more clients in the same amount of time.

The second route might involve you branching out to learn marketing, programming, or other related skills that you can fold in to your design to offer a cohesive service that is beyond what anyone else can proved.

In either case, many organizations are not equip to handle this type of career progression. Or, have no interest in that type of change.

Often, top employees find themselves in a position like this where they can no longer grow in their current position, and so have to move companies to find a role which suits there current level of development.

Employee Engagement is as Important as Compensation

“Just slogging through” or “getting by to get by” is a huge mistake that the best employees don’t make. 

If you are not engaged, interested, and excited by your job, then you have a huge problem and are selling yourself cheap. Human being are not robots that can do the same thing day after day and maintain maximum efficiency.

Top earners are very careful to manage their “buy in” so they can maintain upward momentum. Feelings do matter when it comes to your ability to better yourself and grow your earning potential.

Too often average workers get sucked in to a safe but boring routine that doesn’t challenge or excite them. They spend years not interested in their jobs, and therefore not interested in perfecting their earning potential.

It is better to accept lower compensation in the short term, or risk a period of unemployment, than to keep working in a job which doesn’t motivate you to be better.

This doesn’t mean that every day should be like Christmas. Or that a good job shouldn’t make you do some things that you don’t necessarily like to do. But at the core you should believe in your company’s mission and have motivation to grow in the position you find yourself.

The Best Employees Have Better Opportunities Elsewhere

Top employees know that they always have more opportunities available to them. A huge mistake made by average employees is the belief that they are luck to have the job they do.

While it may seem difficult to find work in the past, or unemployment numbers may be up, there will always be a shortage of talented and motivated employees. By following the advice in the rest of this article and blog, you will quickly find yourself in the 1% of top employees which bosses fight over.

When you think about moving on, the right mindset is, “is this job the best fit for me right now,” rather than, “will I be able to find other work?” For more information on this mindset see:  Why the Best Time to Quit Your Job is Now

Good Employees Quit when the Work Culture is Toxic

Toxic work culture is pervasive and highly infective. Good employees do not tolerate toxic workplaces, because they know that bad habits rub off on them and impact their earning potential hugely over time.

  • Toxic bosses
  • Narcissistic coworkers
  • Backstabbing
  • Blame oriented feedback
  • Unmotivated employees

All of this types of behaviors stunt your growth as a professional and should not be tolerated. If you work in such and environment, the right approach is to bring up your concerns to the boss and recommend positive changes that they can make. If they aren’t interested or don’t listen, find a way out of that company as soon as possible.

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