Reasons for Leaving your Employer

Before you begin the process of searching for a new employer, review this chart and determine which category fits you best:

Column 1
Column 2
Column 3
Salary Better technology Incompetent or inept boss
Inadequate bonuses or incentives Deeper technology exposure Obstinate or arrogant boss
Insufficient benefits Focus too narrow or generalized Untrustworthy boss
Stock options/ownership Relocation Domineering or non-negotiable boss
More profit sharing Responsibility (more or less) Paranoid boss
Greater overall responsibility Management (more or less) Regimented boss
Increased vacation or personal time Travel (more or less)  'Lost-in-the-fog' technical manager
Better projects (or tasks within projects) Specialization (more or less) Underutilized
Better environment Performers not rewarded More work-life balance
Long hours (required, no compensation) Redundancy
No room for advancement Career peaked in current position
Lack of opportunity No mentors or outside training
Shorter commute Contributions are not valued
Same experience year after year Overqualified (or underqualified)
Deteriorating skills Intangible environment
RIFs closer than 15 months apart Underemployed and/or undervalued
No professional training High stress or frustration level
Lack of company vision Subtle discrimination
Company performing poorly Limited area of responsibility
Opposition to new technologies or risk Climate of mistrust or poltically charged
Undervalued Personality clashes
Career change Employee opinions have little or no value
Hostile work environment Limited resources
Unappreciated or ignored Contentious co-workers
Affecting your physical/mental health General poor work environment
Questionable business practices Competition always wins
Incompetent or unethical management No innovation
Products not industry competitive
Bored, no end in sight

COLUMN 1: If most of your reasons are from Column 1, you're better off staying at your current company. Consider an internal job change. Negotiate for additional salary and/or increased responsibility. If everything else is in balance, let them know exactly what you need, and set specific endpoints for a decision. If you reach an empass, then it's time to leave. Never let money be your only motivator - getting the latest technology or management experience is the best long term solution. Money follows skills.

COLUMN 2: If most of your primary motivators are aligned with Column 2, you will definitely benefit from a new opportunity. All are strong and undisputable reasons for beginning a search outside of your current employer. Apply your efforts to leaving. Make it your primary focus.

COLUMN 3: If a third of your reasons are in Column 3 you have valid reasons for changing employers. The question is: can your work enviroment be salvaged by making personal adjustments? Will they company allow you to make these adjustments? What could preclude this for happening? Assess your (and their) strengths and weaknesses. If the employer is salvageable, in your opinion, begin negotiations to correct the situation. Set milestones that they understand. If you've tried with no success, or obstacles exist that you can't overcome, your clear answer is to leave. It is the only remaining viable choice for either advancing your career, or realigning it.

Consider: More money isn't going to correct any of the issues in Column 3.

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