The Real Reason People Change Jobs

There are a lot of reports and statistics about why people change jobs. Many cite more pay or a bigger salary. In the Bay Area, many people are looking to shorten their commute. But the #1 reason, and the reason that permeates all situations, is a person’s belief in the management of the company .

As a career coach, I’ve found that many of my clients tell me they loved their job, and maybe even their boss, but the company leadership and culture made them want to find something else. When it comes down to it, people want to work with good leaders.  Leaders who know how to motivate their teams to achieve success by creating a positive culture where people feel they’re a part of something.

With the amount of time we spend at the office, it’s essential for corporate leaders to consciously create and maintain a culture that drives and rewards success in a way that raises the bar for everyone.

My clients have shown me that when people dislike their job, but love the leadership and culture of the company, they will still give it their all and stay committed to their position for a long time. Good leadership is critical to employee engagement and retention.

On the other hand, when a person loves her job, but doesn’t like the leadership in the company, it won’t take much to lure her away or give her a reason to start looking. How can you tell when there’s a leadership problem?

In How To Tell If Your Leader Is Ruining Employee Retention Meghan Biro lists these 10 traits that indicate trouble when they appear in leadership:

  1.      Not credible
  2.      Bro-ness [another name for sexist, old boys who dismiss women’s leadership ability]
  3.      Creative conservatism
  4.      Recklessness
  5.      Alienating the top ranks
  6.      Inflexible
  7.      Tone-Deaf
  8.      Bad ideas
  9.      A boss who spins everything
  10.      Passive-Aggressive

Any one of those traits in management can create an uncomfortable environment for employees to work in. And for those employees who don’t share the traits with management, the conflict between their values and management’s will erode the employee’s willingness to endure the toxic environment and soon push them to look for more nourishing surroundings.

In fact, if you begin to see an exodus of talent from your company, a good initial action is to step back and do a reality check on the current corporate environment. (Case in point – Uber). When your brightest, most capable employees start jumping ship, there’s a good chance they’re leaving because they think the company culture is sinking, and they don’t want to get sucked down with it. If you recognize any of the traits above in you or others in your management team, admit the problem, plan how to mitigate or resolve the problem, and initiate the solution plan.

Today’s business environment is very competitive. More than ever, you need to keep employees engaged with a supportive environment that fosters company and employee growth.


Julia is a Career Strategist, Leadership Coach, and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach based in the Bay Area. She helps career-focused professionals showcase their unique abilities and talents in order to amplify their presence in their chosen fields and when re-entering the job market. Julia uses her extensive leadership experience in executive management, business development, team building and recruiting to help her clients have the career they always wanted. Learn more about Julia at,, (@JuliaHolian)  and

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