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Employees Quit Employers That Don't Offer Opportunities to Grow in a Preferred Job & Career

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Career Development accounts for 21% of all reasons employees left their jobs in 2017, marking the eighth-consecutive year this category has led reasons for turnover, according to the 2018 Retention Report: Truth & Trends in Turnover. As the economy expanded, employees’ fears of layoffs gave way to the desire to grow and advance one’s career in an attractive job and a more preferred workplace.


Reasons as a Percent of Category:

  • 33%       Type of Work
  • 21.5%    Lack of Growth & Development Opportunities
  • 18.6%    Returning to School
  • 17.2%    No Advancement or Promotional Opportunity
  • 7.6%      Job Security
  • 2.2%      General Career Reason

Type of Work was the top reason in the Career Development category at 33%, demonstrating that if an employee didn’t like the work they were doing, they could make a career change or find a more attractive job.

When an employee left due to type of work, it didn’t mean that they left for a promotion, but instead a lateral move or a completely different type of work.

A lack of Growth and Development Opportunities as a reason for leaving rose to 21.5% this past year. When growth and development opportunities were cited, employees mentioned a chance to grow, acquire new skills or better use skills.

When promotion or advancement was cited as a reason, employees mentioned that they could not move up or they perceived they were in a dead-end job.

Return to School accounted for 18.6%, nearly one-fifth of the reasons for leaving within the Career Development category. This supports previously presented data that says more young people are seeking higher education (Lacey et al., 2017). In the recession students sought advanced degrees, rather than simply be unemployed, when jobs were largely unavailable. There is also a general thought that workers today need more advanced skills which leads many potential workers to seek advanced degrees, rather than entering the workforce. All the while, a large number of unskilled jobs remain unfilled.

As career opportunities increase, employers must take steps to understand the needs, preferences and goals of their workers or miss out on opportunities to keep workers that they need.

Download the 2018 Retention Report: Truth & Trends in Turnover to learn more.

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