Maybe it’s time to "Fire Your Boss"

Or, why people really leave jobs…

The employment market is more dynamic now than ever before. People are changing jobs every two to four years. They are making two to five career changes. Employee loyalty to companies is at an all time low, and it looks like company loyalty to employees is about the same.

Why do people really leave their job? Is it money? Commute? Benefits? In some cases, clearly in the minority, yes.

In most cases – people just fire their boss.

Recent studies are proving that 90 percent of departing employees leave a company because of issues with their job, manager, culture of the company or work environment. In a significant majority, the issue is with their boss. They have lost trust in their boss, lost respect or feel undervalued or underutilized. And the sad fact is: most managers don’t realize this – they think people leave for money.

When there is a disconnect between an employee and their manager, employees tend to disengage, just come to work and sleepwalk through the day with little motivation. That is very difficult to work with. People want to contribute, learn and be a part of a growing entity; when this ceases in a company – as it did with many during tough economic times – they disengage and just get by, or they leave.

Other reasons people fire their boss or leave:

  • Job sounded good – but not as expected – happens often. One takes a new job and either the duties were not represented properly or not enough questions were asked.
  • Job sounded good – but is a "mismatch" – again, not "fitting" a job is very common. Often, in the need to fill a spot, employers make misinformed hiring decisions and don’t evaluate a person’s interests and personality as a match to the job. Mismatches occur, people leave and they start all over again.
  • Little Coaching & Feedback…No Advancement or Growth –  One of the deal killers. Once someone feels stagnant in their job or if they don’t receive feedback and coaching, they will leave. 
  • Inability to achieve work/life balance – or in other words, all work – no play. That will not work over the longer term especially when you add family into the equation. We have all been there at some point in our lives when work became your life.
  • Loss of trust in leadership – When employees sense that the leaders of their company or organization can’t be trusted, or they see seemingly unfair practices occur (favoritism, inequity in pay, "favored" promotions, etc.), loyalty erodes, performance suffers and eventually one will leave – or be asked to leave.

Are you in this situation?

If so, there are three things you should do – quickly:

  1. Give yourself "permission" to move on – usually a tough step as many do feel a sense of loyalty, they are concerned about security, feeling that it is better to hold on to a so-so job rather than take a risk. In short, they get handcuffed to the familiar and comfortable, and with that, growth ceases. Giving yourself "permission" is letting go of what holds you back, and accepting change as good.
  2. Get your house in order. Tune up your resume. If not networking, start making contacts. Begin to plan where you want to be next – the type of job, career and employer.
  3. Then, and only then, talk to your employer. Having a sit down with your manager, one-on-one, face-to-face before you go to human resources or talk to anyone else is critical. Outline your concerns and ask  "If you were in my situation feeling as I do, what would you recommend I do? Ask for advice. Don’t confront, and most importantly, don’t show your cards or indicate any intention to leave.

You may have noticed money was not one of the top reasons people flee, because it is not and hasn’t been for a number of years. We are willing to accept lower play for the "softer" side of a job – growth, advancement, learning, synergy, etc. 

If no resolve or if you are feeling that the end is near for you, time to fire your boss.

Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie.  You can reach him at 641.8968 or or visit



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