Very few workers stick around until retirement, collect their pension and their gold watch, and ride off into the sunset. This is mostly because there are no pensions, watches now bear Apple logos and will be updated every six months until the earth is swallowed by the sun, and retirement comes whenever you’re past age 60 and get laid off. In fact, the average worker stays at a job only 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, that doesn’t mean that every reason to quit is bad news.
(Photo Credit: Hamad AL-Mohanna/Flickr )
Let’s take a look at some of the less-depressing reasons people leave for better things:
1. A boss that “gets” you.
Bad bosses are the number one reason people leave their jobs, but your manager doesn’t have to be an ogre to be wrong for you. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, two people just can’t see eye to eye. When they’re married, they get divorced. When they work with each other, somebody leaves. The good news is that quitting a job involves a lot less paperwork and heartache.
2. A job that’s a better fit.
Whether it’s corporate culture, a flexible schedule, or a shorter commute, a new job might just fit better into your life than your present job. Knowing what you need at work is an important first step in finding that office that feels like home.
The main goal here is to be honest. Americans tend to think well of workaholics and respect people who prioritize professional achievement – but it turns out, many of us also like to lie about how much we’re really working, so take that with a grain of salt.
If you don’t want to burn the midnight oil, steer clear of industries and company types that do. (Avoid, for example, finance and startups.) If you like structure, don’t beat yourself up for not being able to “think outside the box.” Remember the irony of such a hackneyed phrase supposedly expressing creativity.
3. More money.
Raises are thin on the ground these days, and with wages increasing by fractions of a percentage point each quarter, sometimes the best way to boost your financial bottom line is by moving to a new company.
Just remember to be professional in your departure, so as not to burn any bridges. The business world is small and changes quickly. The company that you can’t wait to leave today might be totally different next year, when the boss, management policies, and even corporate culture have shifted.
Make sure your personnel file doesn’t contain anything that would keep you from earning a spot at the new and improved version of your old employer.
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