UK professionals reveal the top reasons for leaving their job


The survey of 1,000 UK workers found that two thirds of UK professionals have quit a job in the past, rising to 68 per cent amongst men. In addition, the survey explored why professionals chose to leave their roles, with respondents citing the following as their top reasons:

A better opportunity came along – 52.1 per cent

I didn’t get on with my boss – 13.9 per cent

I went travelling/took some time out – 6.6 per cent

I was no longer satisfied with the job or working environment – 5.8 per cent

I left to study – 4.4 per cent

Furthermore, despite an increasing number of people wanting to quit their job, the majority have never been taught the correct process for leaving. In fact, 89.4 per cent of the nation make it well into their working lives, still not knowing how to quit.

But, when asked how they would go about telling their boss if they were to quit their job right now, nearly half of workers said they would organise a meeting with their employer and do it face-to-face. A further 30 per cent said they would write a formal letter, 8 per cent would call them and do it over the phone, while 7 per cent would quit via email.  The number of those quitting over email increased to nearly a quarter amongst millennials.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “Quitting a job can be uncomfortable for employees, even if they’re leaving on good terms. It’s clear that many UK professionals have not received the right guidance or education when it comes to this very important part of working life. That said, it’s positive to learn that despite being nervous, the majority of workers would arrange to meet their boss in person to discuss their departure. However, it appears that some would still prefer to take an easier route out, quitting over the phone or via email.”

Respondents were also asked to share their most scandalous ways they’ve quit, and why they chose to do so. Here are some of the top walkout moments:

Esther from Winchester said: “I once quit my job in a fit of rage by writing my notice on a receipt and leaving it for my boss – which I later regretted.”

Ryan from Staines said: I” handed my boss my resignation and told her I couldn’t work with her anymore as she was a bully. I did try and keep it private but walls have ears and I was applauded by other members of staff as I left the office.”

Sam from Kent said: “I spoke to my manager about leaving before my full notice period was up. He started ranting saying that it was inconvenient and he was not willing to compromise. So I gave him the keys to my company car, asked a colleague for a lift home and left the building there and then!”

James from Newport said: “I called in to cancel a shift saying I was sick so I could go to a huge football match. Unfortunately I was caught on TV, and when I returned to work my boss started shouting at me. I walked out mid telling-off and never went back.”

Clare from Bournemouth said: “I gave my boss a letter stating that I was leaving, and that she seriously should consider doing the same because she was an awful person who had no place working in support.”

Jane from Wokingham said: “The staff at my last job were really unprofessional so I hid a camera in the office and recorded them. I then threatened to send the footage to the head office. Needless to say no one was too upset when I quit and walked out.”

Tom from Norwich said: “I had a huge argument with my boss because I didn’t like the way he did things. He told me if I felt like that I should leave, so I told him I agreed with him for once and left immediately. ”

Matthew from Swansea said: “I phoned my boss to say I couldn’t make it in for my evening shift. He replied “if you don’t show up tonight there will be serious consequences”. Instead of going in I took the next week off as holiday and then handed in my notice.”

Raani from Farnborough said: “My boss always took advantage of me and so one day when I had use of his company car I drove into the middle of the city and parked it in a random spot. I walked back to the office, handed him the keys and quit without telling him its location.”

Edward from Glasgow said: “When I quit my first job I was so nervous I got my mum to call up for me! They had refused my request for a holiday (one which I had already booked) so she rang up and left them a snotty voicemail.”

Biggins concludes: “It’s obvious that quitting can be difficult for workers, and some feel driven to make rash decisions which could have negative implications for them in the future. These stories illustrate how employees can be pushed to breaking point, and as an employer it’s vital that you prevent this from happening in your business.

“By ensuring you’re offering competitive packages and a positive working environment you can stop your staff from leaving in the search for better opportunities. Not only this, but perfecting your managing style to keep the lines of communication open will encourage your staff to address any issues they may have before it reaches boiling point.”