Top 7 reasons for leaving a job

Leonardo DaVinci is credited with writing the first ever resume in 1482. The “resume” was a letter about his personality and work experience and sent to the Duke of Milan. 

But it’s safe to assume that the first resignation letter was written hundreds of years later. Perhaps you’re thinking of writing one yourself. Before doing so, check the good reasons for leaving a job and see if any of them apply to you.

1. You don’t fit into the company culture

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No single company culture is right for everybody, so you may just be unlucky enough to be at the “wrong” organization. If you don’t mesh well with its culture, this will be an issue every day. It’s simply something you can’t ignore forever. 

For example, perhaps the company’s dress code, office layout, and social calendar are very formalized and uptight, while you thrive in an informal environment. The lack of compatibility is unlikely to resolve itself. 

2. There is a values misalignment

It’s not a good idea to work towards soulless corporate goals or values that are contrary to what you personally hold to be important.

When your and your employer’s values are misaligned, it can remove your sense of care for the work. There might be nothing motivating you to put your best foot forward other than the salary and benefits. 

If you don’t feel connected to the cause or find fulfillment in the work you do, you may also feel more stressed and burnt out.

3. There are limited professional development opportunities

Leaving a job doesn’t mean that you don’t love the company or the career. But if you feel stuck with limited opportunities for professional development, why should you stay?

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Many employers keep their workers in the same positions for years out of convenience. They don’t give them promotions, assign challenging tasks, or give them opportunities to develop new skills. From the worker’s perspective, it can be incredibly frustrating.

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4. You want to change careers

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People change, and their interests and temperaments evolve with them. The career path you chose years ago may no longer be the right fit. And in the last few years, more people have been rethinking their career choices. The Great Resignation, an ongoing economic trend, is encouraging people to reconsider what they are passionate about and what they want in both jobs.

Perhaps it’s time to explore a new trajectory in your career path, too. 

5. You want a healthier work-life balance

Some of the common factors that make the work-life balance unhealthy are poor management, expectations that employees will work long hours, and the “always on” mentality. And unfortunately, significant changes are very difficult to initiate unless it’s happening top-down. 

Working around the clock shouldn’t be normal, and if the employer is unwilling to accommodate the demands for a healthy work-life balance, it’s a good reason to get out.

6. You want a different work arrangement

Many roles are inherently part-time, often limited to approximately 20 hours per week or less. The option to move onto a full-time position might not be available or suitable for the role. If you want to secure full-time hours, you might want to apply for a different position. 

Or, you may find yourself in the opposite situation. You might learn that you don’t enjoy a traditional workplace anymore. So, leaving for a flexible work arrangement or a part-time gig may be the move for you.

7. You want to relocate

The last one on this list of personal reasons for leaving a job is moving. 

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Perhaps your partner was offered their dream job in another city. Or you want to lower the cost of living, be closer to family, or have a change of scenery.

Unless your position is fully remote, it usually means that you won’t be able to keep your job after relocating.

Final words

In some circumstances, leaving a job is the best thing to do. In others—not so much. There are no rules or guarantees, so make sure you take this decision seriously. Do your best to map out your personal reasons, whether you’re not a good culture fit, the job doesn’t let you achieve a healthy work/life balance, or something else. 

Let’s conclude the article with a few recommendations about what to say to coworkers when leaving a job:

  • Tell close colleagues in person.
  • Send the farewell email to others a day or two before leaving. 
  • Include your personal contact information.
  • Stay positive and grateful.
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