Unhappy workers eyeing the opportunities in a tight labor market quit their jobs at a record rate in 2021, and workers are still quitting at elevated rates in 2022. The number one factor workers cited for quitting a job was toxic company culture (62%), followed closely by salary being too low (59%). Poor management (56%) and lack of healthy work-life balance (49%) were additional top factors.
According to the FlexJobs 2022 Work Insight survey with more than 2,200 respondents, 30 percent of workers are currently considering quitting their jobs, and 25 percent have actually quit their jobs in the last six months. Of those who recently quit, 68 percent quit without having another job lined up. Side jobs and accessing emergency savings are the top two strategies they are using to close income gaps during their transition time.
Not allowing remote work (43%), being burned out (42%), and not allowing flexible schedules (41%) rounded out the most pressing issues among today’s workers that would cause them to look for a new job.
Top Factors That Affect Decisions to Quit Jobs
- Toxic company culture (62%)
- Salary too low (59%)
- Poor management (56%)
- Lack of healthy work-life boundaries (49%)
- Not allowing remote work (43%)
- Burnout (42%)
- Not allowing flexible schedules (41%)
- Limited advancement opportunities or career progression (37%)
- Lacking or poor benefits (i.e., not offering health insurance or 401(k) retirement benefits) (31%)
- Limited PTO or sick time (27%)
- Poor mental health support (22%)
- Long-term job stability (21%)
- Amount of travel required (19%)
- Not having diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in place (19%)
- Lack of connection to company’s mission (18%)
- Concerns over COVID-19 vaccine requirements (17%)
“Our data clearly highlights that toxic company culture drives people to leave their jobs more than any other single factor,” said Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Especially with many companies now transitioning to permanent hybrid workplaces, it’s critical that leaders emphasize building healthy cultures that are inclusive of all their workers’ needs and locations, whether they’re on-site or remote,” Sutton concluded.
Additional findings about workers’ behaviors and attitudes around quitting include:
- 15% have felt very tempted to rage-quit, and 4% actually did rage-quit in the last year
- 14% say they have known someone who has rage-quit
- 10% say they have rage-quit in the past (2020 or earlier)
- Majority (60%) think two weeks’ notice is the right amount of notice to give an employer
- 22% think one month is appropriate
- 11% say less than two weeks’ notice is acceptable, and the remaining 7% weren’t sure
- Of those whose employment hope is specifically to find a new job in the next three to six months, more than half (57%) say that they are looking for a new job in a different career
- Over three-quarters (79%)say they’ve tried in the past to change careers or are currently trying
For those considering or about to resign their jobs, career coaches recommend following these steps:
1. Make a Plan
The first step to resigning gracefully is to plan it out. Whether you are quitting your job because of a great opportunity or because you are looking to get out of a toxic situation, you want to handle your resignation with care. Ahead of resigning, think through what you want to say and prepare talking points ahead of time. Often, the conversation feels awkward and isn’t easy, so as much preparation as you can do ahead of time will help.
2. Find and Give Time
Timing is everything, particularly when you want to resign your job gracefully. For example, if your boss is always busy on Monday mornings, it might be better to resign Monday afternoon or even Tuesday morning so your boss can better focus on what you’re saying. You’ll also want to give your supervisor a reasonable amount of notice that you’re leaving. Though two weeks is generally the gold standard, some companies request that you give more notice if you’re resigning from a more senior or technical position. Double-check your documents to see what might be requested or even required of you.
And finally, even if you do give two or more weeks’ notice, be prepared for the company to ask you to leave immediately. Not all companies allow staff to continue working after they’ve resigned, even when you’re parting on good terms. Be prepared to leave that day, and don’t take it personally.
3. Notify Your Supervisor
Part of resigning gracefully means telling your immediate supervisor about your resignation first. After you’ve talked to your boss, you can share your plans with colleagues. Because this can often be a difficult conversation, many people would prefer to email their resignation letter and leave it at that. However, resigning face-to-face, even if that’s over video chat, is the most professional way to resign.
No matter how fabulous or awful your boss is, it’s best to keep things simple and positive, or at least neutral. It’s not advisable to be angry or mean when resigning. Focus on the positives of your time at the company, and let your supervisor know you appreciate the opportunities you’ve been given.
Finally, during your discussion with your boss, confirm that they will notify HR about your resignation on your behalf. Or, confirm that you need to submit your resignation to HR directly.
4. Share the Information
As part of your graceful resignation, create a document that includes passwords, deadlines, or anything that someone stepping into your role needs to know. Leave things neat, tidy, and in good shape so your boss—or whoever takes over your workload when you leave—can step right in and not miss a beat.
5. Lend a Helping Hand
While your replacement likely won’t be hired until you’re gone, it’s possible an internal person may replace you and can start learning the role immediately. If that’s the case, offer to train that person before you leave.
However, the company likely won’t post your position for a while (and then they need time to interview, hire, and onboard), so consider offering to train your replacement after you leave. You’ll need to get an OK from your new employer, but being available for a quick Q and A with your replacement will go a long way toward resigning with grace.
6. Keep Working Through the End
During the last few weeks of your employment, continue performing at the high standards you have in the past, and be the professional the company has come to know. Tie up any loose ends as much as you can, answer any questions your boss or coworkers may have about projects, and let clients know they’re in good hands.
7. Attend the Exit Interview
Finally, make sure you participate in the exit interview, but do so with care. Most companies conduct exit interviews to understand why you’re leaving and to see if there’s anything the company can do to stop others from resigning. While it is a chance for you to provide feedback to the company, any feedback you do give should be professional and constructive.
You may want to trash-talk your now former boss and colleagues. Though your feedback may be accurate, it may not be well-received. While you shouldn’t lie about your reasons for leaving, sometimes it’s best to be a bit vague. Just like the conversation with your boss, try to find something positive about your time with the company to talk about. If you can’t find anything, stick with neutral responses.