Voluntary quits, aka resignations, are rising according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.) In the first eight months of 2016, voluntary quits in the professional and business services category have averaged 560,250 per month, which is a 10% increase over the same period in 2015, when voluntary quits averaged 507,875 per month.
One of the things this statistic doesn’t share is why people leave. There could be a variety of reasons. But one thing is certain, the adage that suggests “the best time to find a new job is when you have a job.” still rings true. While we don’t always get the luxury, it does make some sense to pay attention to the signs that you might want to start looking.
Ruchi Kaushik, senior recruiter for Unum, says the number one sign is a deteriorating relationship with your manager. “You have a few options, but employees have to realize, they can’t change other people, they can only change how they interact with them.” Kaushik offered a couple of suggestions:
1) Don’t take your manager’s behavior personally. Try to understand why you feel the way you do. Gain some perspective, and then have an open conversation with your manager about what’s not working for the two of you.
2) Talk to someone who can help or influence the manager. This could be going to your manager’s manager, or human resources. But never accuse or blame your manager. You will want to approach the conversation with the angle that you’ve had issues and are looking for advice.
The second sign is that your basic needs aren’t being met. We’re not talking about frivolous stuff, like the flavor of coffee in the breakroom. Organizations need to offer employees a good job in a safe environment with competitive compensation and benefits. This includes professional development.
If you’re not learning anything new on the job, whether that’s by attending training or on-the-job projects, Kaushik suggests having a conversation with your manager, but only after you do your homework. “Document your key accomplishments, reflect where you have been successful and seen results, and have a candid conversation with your manager about your career progression. Share your personal vision of where you see yourself in 1, 3 or 5 years down the road, and what skills or experience you need to develop to get there. Since it’s your career and future, be enthusiastic and take ownership of the conversation.”
Finally, the third sign is when your goals and the company’s goals aren’t in alignment. This could be the result of the company making changes in the products and services they offer or the overall quality of the business operation. It could also be that you want to do something different and the company isn’t in the position to support it.
When you have more “bad” than “good” work days, it’s time to ask yourself why. Every organization has cultural flaws – it might be the method they use for planning or the way they hold meetings. Occasional frustrations are a normal part of work. It’s when the company’s quirkiness isn’t tolerable anymore that employees have decisions to make. It’s not a decision to enter into lightly.