Life and Lemons

Why You Will Quit Your Job

This day and age, everyone needs WiFi, and a few Maslow steps after that, a new job every so often.

This day and age, everyone needs WiFi, and a few Maslow steps after that, a new job.

The updated Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs above is the gospel truth, but then that’s just me diverting from the topic even before I began it. Thank you weknowmemes. That was a good one.

The apt addition of Wifi aside, Maslow’s theory still holds water, and as explained by this article, is the reason why you and I will quit our jobs. Up or Out: Solving the IT Turnover Crisis published on The Daily WTF website provides a lengthy discussion on the reasons behind high employee turnover in the IT industry. The basic uncovered dogma however encompasses all fields, and comes back to the employee’s need for self-actualization.

After she has overcome the proby-status hazing, gotten past stirring coffee for the boss and has taken on real work to learn real things while enjoying good pay and benefits, the employee has also gone several steps up Maslow’s ladder.  She has food on the table, clothes in her closet, cosmetics on her bourdoir (a need, naturally), a secure home, connection with peers, and after a few years, proper recognition at work in the form of a promotion and a good hefty pay raise. She is the picture of a happy employee. But as she inches to the edge of the self-esteem step, she will be plagued with one haunting question: “what now?” Once her head hits the ceiling, she will be activating her Jobstreet account, and yes, she will quit.

This, the article posits, is human nature at work, and is something an employer should expect from his brightest employees. Never mind the mediocre ones. They will sulk and hate you and your workload behind your back but they will never leave you, because they are not qualified enough elsewhere. Prominent lawyer Paul Cravath accepted this and proposed what is now dubbed the Cravath System, to wit:

“Bring lots of new employees in, team them up with mentors, provide real work to do, and give them a choice: either get lots of great experience and get out, or work hard for a higher-up position.”

Makes good sense to me. For one, employers cannot promise to make each stellar employee partner. Surely there won’t be enough seats. Which thus implies that there will come a time in their employment relationship that even the best companies will not be able to offer what its best employees need. Thus it might as well be a mutually engaging relationship, with both the employer and employee making the best of their time together.

So, if you too are finding the itch to climb up the ladder, please, do scratch it. If what you are feeling is more than the occasional work slump, then it is contrary to the breakup cliche. Because boss, it is not just me. It is you too. And really, it’s not your fault.

Credits to image, article owners. Special credits to @kuyamarkeds for the heads up on the article, among other things (P.S. Follow his Twitter account to get updated UAAP tweets and random nerd musings).

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