11 Common Reasons Employees Leave Their Roles (Plus Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

Unless you have found absolute happiness in your current job, during your working career, you may decide to leave your role for a different one. There are many reasons this may happen and knowing why is important. Understanding why others decide to leave their job can help you determine if it's the right option for you. In this article, we discuss some of the most common reasons others vacate their positions, why it's important to let your employer know and how to tell them.

Related: How To Write a Resignation Letter

11 reasons employees leave their roles

While some staff leave their jobs because they're unhappy in their roles, this isn't the only reason they resign. Other common factors may include family or health emergencies, childcare or elderly parent resources and pay. Here are 11 potential reasons employees leave their roles:

1. Switching careers

If you have been working in one sector for a while but want to pursue different roles, you might leave your current position for a job where you can transfer your skill set. You may also have certificates or education that align with that industry and use the knowledge obtained to start work. Switching careers can also help you learn more about your interests and expertise when applying them in another field.

2. Looking for a challenge

If you have been working at the same job for years, it is likely that you have learnt everything there is to know about your role. When you feel you have mastered everything, you may feel you need more stimulation and challenges at work. So looking for a new job may be a good fit and typically happens to others in their working lives. Consider what may challenge and stimulate you in your next role and start pursuing those jobs.

3. Wanting a better salary

Wanting better pay is typical when working at any job, and this may be determined by the time you've worked there, the experience you have and your overall skill set. You may also want a higher salary because you feel you are ready for the challenges and responsibilities that come with better pay. You may also consider starting a new job with higher pay to cover family and living expenses, to start to save for your future or for personal expenses.

4. Looking for job growth or career development

If you are working for a company with only limited options for promotions and career development, you may choose to look for another role where you have more of an opportunity to grow and develop your skills. Knowing that you have plenty of room to grow in your career can help you determine whether it's time to seek other employment. Also, consider what job growth and career development look like at your current job and compare that to your searches.

5. Wanting a different work environment

Every company has its own unique work environment. While some prefer a stricter and more regimented work schedule, others prefer a more relaxed working environment where they can work in ways that best suit them. If your current work environment is one that does not provide you with the environment that best suits your working style, you might benefit from switching to a company that best suits your needs.

Related: Types of Work Environments (Plus How To Improve Yours)

6. Looking for a better work-life balance

If you're looking for a role where you can spend more time with your family and friends, switching to a new role may be an option. Consider what this means for you, such as reducing the number of days you work a week, working from home or wanting more flexible working hours, knowing why you want to change could help. Research companies that align with your needs to find the best option for you. Also, consider the company's benefits and culture when reviewing roles that align with your work-life balance preferences.

7. Wanting to feel more valued at work

If you're working in an entry-level position or in a role where you have few responsibilities, it may feel like the work you are doing isn't making a significant impact. If you want more responsibilities or want to feel like your work is being more valued, consider seeking a new role. Roles with greater responsibility or roles within a smaller company may help you feel more valued and appreciated for your hard work.

8. Wanting more independence

If you want more autonomy in your workplace, working for a company that values independent work could be a great way for you to thrive and grow. Consider your current role and determine whether you have the independence you're seeking or if you can talk with your superior to change that. If you wish to work for yourself or with small teams, consider freelance or start-up companies.

9. Looking to live somewhere else

If you don't work at a remote job, moving to a new area may result in a job switch. Although this can be scary, it can also offer the opportunity for you to switch to a job that better suits your new lifestyle. Alternatively, consider asking your current employers if you can transfer to a new office if they are a large company, or ask them if you can work remotely if you really enjoy your role.

10. Looking for a more positive workplace

Not every workplace is the right match for you, and you may not always get on well with your co-workers. So, if you're feeling like your workplace environment isn't quite right, or you're looking for a friendlier environment, a job change can help you make new friends and feel more comfortable at work. Moreover, the more comfortable you feel at work, the more likely you are to produce great work.

11. Conflicting with the company's policies

If you have issues with the company policies, consider talking with your manager and HR to discuss your concerns. Knowing your points of contact can help you provide feedback about areas you feel aren't in line with your core values or belief. Also, if leaving the job is the best option to resolve this conflict, consider what you want in a new job and start researching other companies. For example, you may have found that the company's sick leave policies do not align with what you want or need. Leaving this role for a company that has policies that better suit your needs can help you to feel more valued and cared for at work, which could help you feel more motivated.

Why it's important for your employer to know

If you're considering leaving your existing role, it's important that your employer understands why you're wanting to leave. It may be that your current job simply isn't the right fit for you, but if there are other factors, such as an uncomfortable work environment, explaining this to your employer can help them make suitable adjustments. In turn, they may be more likely to retain other staff and avoid time-consuming and expensive recruitment processes further down the line.

Related: How To Quit a Job

How to tell your boss that you're leaving

Once you have decided that you are ready to leave your current job, the first thing to do is tell your current employer so that you can fill out any relevant paperwork and begin the process of resignation. Approach this subject professionally and provide direct reasons you have chosen to leave. When talking to your boss, express appreciation for the role they gave you and the opportunities you have had while working at the company. Once you have done this, you can then go into detail about your reasons for leaving.

If your reasons have nothing to do with the actual job duties or responsibilities, like moving cities, then you do not need to explain your choice in too much detail. Although, if you are leaving because of low satisfaction with your current role or you dislike the work environment, it's important that you let your boss know so they can work on improving the overall experience for others. Alternatively, you can write this in a resignation letter if you prefer written communication and send it via email or deliver it in person.

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