Survey Results: You’re Ready to Quit Unless You Get a Promotion

Last week, we posed a question to you: What would make you quit your job? Now that we’ve analyzed your answers, we have a clearer idea of why tech pros leave their roles.

Our survey provided six possible choices for why tech pros would consider leaving their jobs. On a happy note, only nine percent say they want to leave because they dislike their coworkers. It seems you’re all very affable, and we applaud you.

When tech pros look inward, things get a bit muddier. The other survey answers specifically address how tech pros feel about their career arc, or if they have a solid work-life balance. Around 15 percent say they feel overworked, and the inability to enjoy life outside of work is taking its toll.

Another 17 percent of respondents report their careers have stalled. This isn’t necessarily reflective of their position at their company, but commentary on how they view their careers at this time. The survey option here (“It feels like my career has stalled. Time for something new!”) tells us this crowd is ready to break out of their chosen discipline, or possibly prepped to leave tech altogether.

Interestingly, the same percentage of respondents (19 percent) cite poor pay and management support as reasons they want to leave. We understand 19 percent of tech pros wanting more money; Dice’s own Salary Survey shows tech salaries have plateaued, which is being balanced by better perks… but money still matters.

Some 19 percent of tech pros also want to leave their jobs because management isn’t supporting them. There are obviously endless reasons why tech pros may feel this way, but regardless, tech management is making one-fifth of tech pros reconsider their jobs.

The twist here is that 21 percent of tech pros (the largest faction in this survey) want to be in management, or at least in a more senior position. This crowd feels their roles, not their careers, are at a dead-end. They would like a path toward advancement, but don’t feel that one exists.

There’s a real push-pull between tech pros wanting to move up or move on. One-fifth of tech pros feel poor management is such an issue for them, they’d quit; a slightly larger percentage would also quit because they want to lead. Although those who want to manage always think they’d do better than their predecessors, success in these roles often comes down to processes just as much as individuals.

This survey ultimately reveals one core issue: Unhappiness with management. Whether suffering from a lack of support, overwork, or stalled career, it’s clear that tech pros aren’t being well-served by the power structures in which they work.

But tech pros are ultimately responsible for their careers and happiness, as well as the decision to move on. Remember, quitting a job isn’t taboo in tech. Prized roles at companies often fizzle out inside of 24 months, suggesting whatever angst you feel in your own job is indicative of industry-wide issues and malaise. At least you’re not alone.

One Response to “Survey Results: You’re Ready to Quit Unless You Get a Promotion”

  1. The problem with being a great employee…

    …is that you become indispensable. Your company can’t promote you because it would cause them too much pain.

    No one else can do your job, so you’re stuck!

    Example: Let’s say you’re my boss. I come to you, and remind you of what a great job I’ve done for the last couple years … you agree … and I ask for a promotion to another team or department.

    “Whoa!, you say, “I need you to continue doing the great job you’ve been doing. You’re on the critical path for (whatever)! Who else could do your work, Mike? No one. We’ll reconsider your idea in 6-9 months when we’re caught up. (As boss, you know that ultimately you’re responsible for the results I produce.)

    We’re at an impasse, a stalemate so to speak? Right?

    But, what if I said, “Actually, Mr. Swanner, over the last couple months, I written an Operations Manual (OM) that gives complete step-by-step instructions on how to do my job. And, using my OM, I’ve trained Jess in the QC department to do my job… he could start today and you wouldn’t even miss me. Frankly, he’s more excited than I was when I came here!”

    “Wait,” you say, “The QC Director will not allow me to steal one of his best people…”

    “No problem! Jess and I developed an OM for his job, too. We’re both replaceable and promotable because we’ve documented our work and trained our replacement… (the big close) … Sir, would Friday or Monday be the best time to implement this plan?”

    OK, hypothetical example. But the fact is if we become irreplaceable, our boss can’t promote us because we can’t be immediately replaced.

    That’s why we immediately give our new people our manual that reveals the exact process for being promoted in this company. We call it our Ultimate Career Builder (UCB). It helps them painlessly document their real-world, frontline processes and procedures that produce excellent results in their job.

    Our UCB is a training manual that accelerates new hires toward competence, mastery, and promotability. (Yaaay!)