In over 15 years of my career as a Software Development Manager and IT Consultant, I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews, ranging from freshers to several years experienced professionals. With IT industry booming in India, employee attrition rates are very high and people keep on switching jobs; some for a reason and others for simply a change.
Through this article, I want to share my opinions while trying to explore the Reasons for switching jobs.
Reason 1- I’m changing Job for Growth/ Exposure: This is the main reason (read excuse) most of the people give, be it a fresher or an experienced professional. When encountered with a cross question; “Can you please define growth?” they nearly come up with same replies i.e. “Ummm, I want to learn new technologies”, “gain exposure to different processes”, “I want to learn something new”, etc. etc. And surprisingly, I often get the same reply from a 5 years experienced professional; which sounds fake in all contexts. And when I ask, “Why can’t you learn new technologies, processes and techniques in your current job?” then they can’t look into my eyes.
But what does Growth actually means; Its learning, developing and then fine tuning the skills (not technologies) you have acquired while working on XYZ projects. One must develop the capability to accept new challenges/ changes (often painful) positively and treat them as opportunities to develop new skills that can help you grow.
You can adapt to new technologies by learning from google/ wiki/ forums/ tutorials etc. but you can ONLY adapt new skills by practicing them.
Reason 2- I deserve a better salary increment than what my current company is offering: When candidates tell me this then I ask them “What skills you have developed that should entitle you for a better increment?”. They come back with a stereotype reply “I’ve worked on PHP, ASP.NET, JAVA, XML etc. etc.”. You can clearly see that they are confusing skills with technologies. Just by learning new technologies you are not entitled for a better raise.
In all these years, I’ve been mentoring my employees (as a Project Manager earlier and now as a CEO in my company) that acquiring skills like effective troubleshooting, developing time saving strategies, delivering quality under pressure, sticking to finer details, near zero defect solutions, positive approach towards unexpected challenges etc. are a few skills that one must acquire Instead of filling your bags with technology goodies (that will eventually change/ vanish in due course of time). But these skills will last forever, irrespective of technologies you are working on. The perks and financial benefits will follow a skillful person.
Reason 3- Late sittings and work-life balance: Candidates often complain that they are made to work late hours in routine and their work- life balance has gone for a toss. I see multiple reasons to this problem and hence their solutions. In one case, its the seniors who have setup a tradition of late sitting and they make others sit late for no reason. In another case, the employees might be overloaded with work either due to shortage of staff or due to mismanaged work flow. In both these cases, frustration is obvious and one may be right in quitting the organization if their repeated requests are not heeded by management.
On the other hand, the employee might not be skilled/ capable/ experienced enough to complete the assigned tasks on time. This issue can be resolved by enhancing one’s skills, developing time- saving strategies for routine work and/ or being more focused on tasks in hand. Facing the situation, giving your best shot is the only solution and NOT running away from the problems by quitting your job.
Reason 4- Regular Salary Delays: This is unfortunately an obvious reason to quit the job. Its the prime duty of employer to provide a healthy work environment and salary on time, failing which may earn him a bad reputation. But have we ever thought what leads to salary delays? Who wants to earn a bad reputation i.e. why would a good employer delay the salaries? Let’s do a bit of reverse engineering; Salary gets delayed because the payments from client got delayed. One of the major reasons for delay in payments is that the work was not delivered on time. Now delivering work on time is one of the prime responsibilities of an employee. So the whole game table can turn 360 degree if the employees join hands and commit to deliver in time so that there is less probability of salary delays.
All the above Reasons for switching jobs/ resolutions might look like employer centric but they are actually not. I’ve tried to emphasize a healthy employee- employer relationship where employer should focus on skill building/ enhancement of his employees than merely trying to extract maximum work out of them. On the other hand, employees should work like they own the organization and take ownership of tasks so as to participate in the growth of the organization.