Why Workers Continue Quitting Their Jobs (and What Employers can Do to Keep Them)

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Workers cite low pay, little appreciation, and no future as the primary reasons behind their career change.
Updated Jan. 16, 2024
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The pandemic had many long lasting effects, and of them, the Great Resignation may have had some of the most far-reaching consequences.

Increasingly, people have recognized that they are in the power seat, and they are moving to better jobs because of it. They know they can get ahead financially by moving to a new company or role.

Here is a list of five reasons people quit their jobs, and four things that you can look for in your next role if you want a more fulfilling one. 

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1. The pay is too low

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While the federal minimum wage is an ongoing source of political contention, employees took the matter into their own hands and quit their low-paying jobs in record numbers.

In late 2022, 46% of workers planned to quit during 2023, with the majority seeking a higher salary. People recognize that they can make more money if they move on. 


2. No opportunity for advancement

Who is Danny/Adobe leadership and career development concept

Besides low pay, 63% of workers also cited the lack of potential for advancement in their position as their reason for quitting.

This makes sense. If a worker isn’t making much money and they know they never will, chances are they will be looking for a better opportunity.

But a promotion is also a sign of respect, and if an employee realizes an employer doesn’t promote from within, they may not be committed to the job.

3. They don’t feel respected

TommyStockProject/Adobe angry african male boss shouting at young female employee

Respect played a big part in the Great Resignation, with 57% of workers citing feeling “disrespected at work” as a reason they quit.

Being taken seriously and being listened to is a winning strategy for just about everyone. If you don't feel that way about your current organization then it might be time to look for something new. 

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4. Childcare issues

Drazen/Adobe Working mother taking notes while calculating budget

The pandemic brought many already simmering issues to a boiling point for workers, with childcare being the greatest. Nearly half the workers who quit during the Great Resignation named childcare as a major reason.

Having a child learning remotely when the parent was trying to work played a large role in this, but infant care, summer vacation, and sick days have always been an issue for working parents.

You may now realize that you can find a job that enables you to work from home, or that provide child care for the times your child is sick or help you with your younger children.

5. They were working jobs that didn’t work for them

Prostock-studio/Adobe exhausted african american manager feeling sad and desperate

Issues like flexibility, too little PTO, and subpar health insurance packages were also cited as significant factors for workers quitting their jobs.

The Great Resignation seems to boil down to one thing: Workers realizing they could do better. And the pandemic reminded them that we all only have one life to live.

What you can look for in a new role

Krakenimages.com/Adobe young handsome businessman wearing tie and glasses

If you feel like it's time to look for something new, you're not alone. Some employers are listening to the demands of workers and are trying to provide the things that you may crave.

Let's take a look at some things that employers are starting to offer or change that you might value as you're looking for a new role.

 

1. Higher wages

theevening/Adobe happy businesswoman with around falling money in office

The primary reasons people have quit are low pay and lack of advancement. Companies that are paying employees more money are going to have a leg-up on finding the best talent.

If you're able to find a role that you qualify for that is paying more than market, that might be the right company to find a job at since they just might value their employees more than others. 

2. Companies with beefed up benefits

Song_about_summer/Adobe romantic beach getaway holidays for honeymoon couple

Providing better family leave, in-office daycare, better health insurance options, or more PTO are among the ways you can identify employers who are trying to make their company an appealing place to work.

Receiving another week of vacation can be a huge boon to your creativity and your work/life balance. It can be the difference maker in feeling like you can actually breathe and be productive in your personal and professional life. 

3. Companies wanting to help you grow

fizkes/Adobe  teammates stacked palms together feels unity and support

Pumping up a team is important for morale, but if this is the limit of a company's motivational strategy, the employees are likely to feel like just another number.

If you feel underappreciated in the work that you're doing then you might burn out on the job. To combat this, some companies are investing in their employees by helping them on an individual level.

Recruiters who mention a mentorship or the value they have in internal employee growth is a great thing to look for in a new company if you crave improvement or recognition.

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4. Respect

Mangostar/Adobe  business partners greeting each other in hallway

If a company is offering all of the previous three things then there's a good chance they greatly respect their employees.

The company values will give you great insight into the company itself. Do their values center around growing as fast as possible and making as much money as possible? Those things are important, but company values are what you'll live every day.

If a company craves employees who collaborate and grow with the company then they'll likely have specific values that speak to it. Find ones that align with what you're looking for. 

Bottom line

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People are realizing they can level up all the time with a new role. While many are still quitting, plenty are finding the roles that they want that help them boost their bank account and improve their mental health.

You have the ability to improve your financial situation and find a role that is not just a good fit but that values your efforts. If that's what you want, make sure you know what you're looking for.

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Author Details

Olivia Christensen Olivia Christensen is a freelance writer and columnist whose work has been featured in HuffPost, Business Insider, and more. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and three kids, and when she isn't writing, she's probably hiking.

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