Lack of Progression Tops Reasons for Job Dissatisfaction: Survey

Most employees also report suffering discrimination at their workplace
An unclear career path

While the size of one’s paycheck might seem like the biggest influence on whether a person stays at a job or goes off in search of greener pastures, a new study suggests that other factors can play a major role in job satisfaction.

Career advice website sought to study the root causes of employee turnover. To do so, they surveyed 824 visitors to their site to find out what would make them quit a job.

The findings showed that the No. 1 reason an employee would start shopping their resume is because they felt there was little opportunity to advance in their current workplace.

When respondents were asked to rate a number of different factors in their decision to leave a job, the factor most likely to be named as important across all age groups was “no progression” on their career path. That was followed (in order) by low pay, failure to get a raise they thought they deserved and poor leadership at their company.

More than a third of respondents — about 38% — said a lack of progression would influence their decision “very much,” and just over 23% said it would influence their decision “somewhat.”

On the other hand, a “non-flexible schedule” had the smallest influence on an employee’s decision to quit, according to the study results.

Most workers feel discriminated against

Survey respondents gave other factors that influenced their job satisfaction, including the prevalence of discrimination. More than half of respondents — 53% — said they have felt discriminated against by a superior at some point in their jobs.

Women were more likely to feel this way with 61% feeling discriminated against, compared to just 35% of men.

At the same time, 51% of respondents said they’d felt discriminated against by colleagues, with 64% of women and 33% of men feeling that way.

Not all goodbyes are final

While many workers said they were willing to leave an employer if they didn’t feel that their needs were being met, many respondents who had already quit a job expressed a willingness to return to an old job under the right circumstances.

More than a third (35%) said they would come back to work for a former employer if they were offered more money or a higher position. An even higher percentage (43%) said they would take a new job with a former employer as long as their former boss had been replaced.

When it comes to making the decision to quit in the first place, 37% of respondents said they made the choice on the spot rather than after careful planning. Yet most respondents didn’t have second thoughts, as only 13% said they regretted leaving a job.

Alas, nothing lasts forever, and in some cases, a job that met our needs in the past may no longer give us satisfaction. A currently low unemployment rate makes this a good time to look for a job, since there may be less competition.

If you do believe you need a job change, rather than quitting your job impulsively, try to give yourself time to look for a better position. You should also try to come up with a financial plan that will help you to better thrive during the career transition.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

Comments and Questions