3 Reasons Why Generation X ers Will Quit Their Jobs in the Next Year
His definition of recurving is: “Leaving one job to take another that pays less but places one back on the learning curve”
In my book, “101 Ways to Make Generation X, Y and Zoomers Happy at Work” I provide survey results that state the US job satisfaction is at the lowest level in two decades. The survey was done in January 2010 for The Conference Board by TNS.
The survey found that of 5000 surveyed only 45 percent of those surveyed are satisfied with their jobs which is down from 61.1 percent in 1987, the first year the study was conducted. Further 22 percent of those surveyed did not expect to stay with their current employer in the next year following the survey.
I do a lot of consulting and coaching work and the majority of my clients are Generation X- those who are in their thirties to late forties. This is a generation that feels they have been overworked, under appreciated and have not been given the promotions or opportunities they had expected.
I recently conducted a survey through my consulting firm Synthesis at Work Inc. and asked a group of Generation X the three reasons they would quit their job in the next year. Here are the results of that survey:
1. They have outgrown their role and they want to learn more from their Baby Boomer boss- they welcome the learning in any form such as cross-training, mentor programs or university courses but their company does not offer a variety learning opportunities and their boss does not want to share what they know to the Generation X.
This scenario is a classic example of ‘recurving’ where the Generation X will leave one job for another even at lower pay to learn more and to grow.
2. They do not see any opportunities to be entrepreneurial in their role and they long for the work and life balance that will allow them greater freedom and flexibility with their family. Generation X say they will quit their job and start their own business if they have to in order to create the life/work balance that they want.
This scenario is an example of companies talking about life balance but not providing the resources for employees to actually feel like they have life balance. For example the baby boomer boss works until 7:00 PM and the Gen X feels guilty leaving at 5:00 PM this causes the Gen X to resent the baby boomer and look for work that gives them more sense of control over their job and the freedom to leave without guilt.
3. The economy is coming back and Generation X are being head hunted by competitors. Organizations are recognizing that Generation X are a valuable asset in that they have excellent technical skills along with work experience. They are the perfect demographic for organizations to go after and aggressive and progressive companies are luring Gen X away with longer vacation times, paid sabbaticals and partial work from home options.
This scenario is happening more frequently as the economy continues to improve- organizations are luring Gen X away from their current employers to capture their talent. Generation X are an easy target for organizations that know what the Gen X is looking for from an employer and they are prepared to give it to them in order to lure them away.
Generation X is often the ‘forgotten’ generation as the baby boomers and generation Y get all of the attention. However if you as a company are not focused on keeping your Generation X happy you could be at risk of losing them to a competitor. Or you could be losing them to their own entrepreneurial venture.
It is time for organizations to really step up and walk the talk when it comes to employee happiness and satisfaction because in an improving economy there will be more job migration and the loss of valuable talent.
Cheryl Cran, CSP is the author of “101 Ways to Make Generations X, Y and Zoomers Happy at Work” as well as “The Control Freak Revolution”. She is a leadership and generations expert and works for top performing companies to help leaders and their teams work together at the highest level of effectiveness.