To leave or not to leave?

  • Stay or go? You have little to lose from sitting down with your employer and seeing  what opportunities are available to further your career (Photograph by Pixabay)

    Stay or go? You have little to lose from sitting down with your employer and seeing what opportunities are available to further your career (Photograph by Pixabay)

If there is one thing that hurts more than trying to smile when your feet hurt, it’s dragging yourself in to work every day to do a job you can’t stand. There are many reasons why you might be feeling this way; some might be legitimate complaints regarding working conditions, but many might be of your own making.

A 2018 Randstad US survey revealed that more than 60 per cent of the respondents were actively planning to leave their current place of employment due to a toxic boss. With the average worker spending less than five years in each position, increasingly people are spending more time searching for greener pastures and transitioning from one company to the next instead of developing a career path for themselves within an organisation.

The “dine and dash” approach to job advancement is a double-edged sword. In the short term it may well be faster and easier to advance yourself by hopping from one company to the next, but is this a wise long-term strategy?

From the employee perspective clawing your way up the corporate ladder as fast as possible might seem like a no-brainer, but not necessarily so from the perspective of an employer.

It is a proven fact that it is much more time consuming and expensive for a company to locate, hire and train a new employee than it is for a them to promote an existing employee so promoting from within will always be the preferred option, but there’s a catch. The company has to have a suitable person within their ranks to promote, and you and your employer may well not agree what “suitable” means.

From the employee perspective suitable might mean “I am bored to tears with what I am doing, and sick of waiting for someone to realise what an asset I am and give me more to do”.

Your employer, however, might have other ideas. Believe it or not your employer might be desperately searching for someone who is forward thinking enough and confident enough to ask for a meeting to discuss specific opportunities for training and advancement in a particular area and who will stay with that same company if they go to the time, trouble and expense of creating and implementing a career development plan for that individual.

You respond: “Well if I got a deal like that I would stay!”

Great. There’s just one little problem. How many job jumps have you already made in the last five years?

If your answer is more than two, there is a real possibility that your current employer may well not believe that you are the sort of person who would stay for the long-haul. Furthermore, every time you add yet another line to your employment history, you might be hampering your ability to be selected for a “key position”. Because prospective employers are also trying to hire people who will stay in key positions for extended periods of time.

Is this always the case?

In some industries yes, in some job categories, not necessarily. The point here is to make sure you understand what the hiring practices and desired career path are in your industry. Above all, make sure you have thoroughly explored all the possible options for training and advancement with the HR department of your current firm before jumping ship.

You have little to lose by doing this. Sometimes just sitting down with your employer and gaining an insight into how to meet the qualifications for advancement within can be all it takes to make the daily grind more palatable as you work to achieve your desired goal.

If, however, you come away from your meeting with the realisation that you really are not going to be able to move any further up the ranks where you are, then you at least will have confirmed that you are making the right decision to move on when the right opportunity presents itself.

Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at, 538-8937 or

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Published Aug 6, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 6, 2019 at 7:53 am)

To leave or not to leave?

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