The article below espouses making talking about leaving normal, and celebrating employees who are moving on to something that is better for them. I don’t know if anyone would go that far, but I think we do need to talk about this:
“I think a lot of people still believe that every new employee who walks through the door is going to stay for 10, 20, or 30 years. But the idea that if the organization takes care of its employees—offering plenty of paid vacation days, best-in-class benefits, and a mildly fulfilling work environment—they’ll return the favor by staying for the rest of their career is a myth. People simply don’t operate that way, at least not anymore.”
There are a couple of things at play here. First, and foremost, people simply don’t trust employers to stick with them for 20-30 years. We’ve seen far too many people, talented, dedicated people, let go from jobs in recent years. We’re simply not holding out hope that we can stay that long.
So that’s one thing that is different. The other, is that many people are taking control of their own careers, and recognize when a workplace just isn’t a good fit.
Let me give you a couple of examples from my own life that might seem familiar:
I’ve left a job because there simply wasn’t anywhere to move up. There was one person who led our team, she had no plans to go anywhere, and she took ownership of most decisions on the direction of that team. There was nowhere to be promoted to, and no way to take on more responsibility without leaving. And, to her credit, when I did leave for the opportunity to build a training plan for another company from scratch, she was happy for me.
I’ve also left jobs when it was no longer the right fit. When I was traveling all the time, but needed to step back from that and spend more time closer to family, I changed jobs. The one I had wasn’t going to change. Traveling and training was the job
Later, after we had a number of deaths in our family in 2019, I realized that working in an office was no longer what I wanted. I wanted the ability to work remotely, and the ability to be anywhere doing it, which would allow me to spend more time with far away family and friends. Again, my boss didn’t even try and convince me to stay, he knew this was no longer a good fit.
Sometimes, things happen. Circumstances change, what we want from our careers changes, and what the current employer can offer us changes. There’s no shame in it, and there shouldn’t be any hard, or awkward feelings about it.
I’d love to see companies get on board with that, but that’s going to require we see our people as people first, and labor inputs second. I’m not so sure some managers are capable of that.