Study: American Professionals Want to Quit Their Jobs

Study: American Professionals Want to Quit Their Jobs

This week JWMI released critical new findings from our national workforce survey, which was conducted to determine how employees perceive their managers, careers, and workplace culture. The survey finds that 43% of American professionals have thought about quitting their jobs in the past year, due to stifling frustrations at work.

Younger professionals (51% 18-34; 41% 35-54), those who make less than $50,000 annually (53%), and those who are not married (47%), and believe that their job is currently at a standstill (55%) are among those most likely to say that they had thought about quitting. The same can be said of those working in customer service/support roles (51%), or in the health sector (46%).

A third of respondents report both limited opportunity for advancement (33%) and pay not being commensurate with work (33%) as some of their biggest sources of work-related frustration which leads to quitting. Sixty-nine percent of respondents agree that there is a lot of bureaucracy at their workplace, and red-tape was selected by 28% as being a top frustration. Notably, another 30% of U.S. adults report being underappreciated and 27% report being overworked as reasons for their unhappiness.


Respondents also cite the following additional reasons as frustrations at work which lead to thoughts about quitting:

  • Lack of voice in decisions/not being heard—22%
  • Lack of job security—18%
  • Not being challenged/stimulated by work—17%
  • Lack of constructive feedback from their boss—14%
  • Not having a good relationship with coworkers—(10%) or their boss (9%)

“It’s troubling to learn that there are so many Americans that are unhappy at work,” said Craig Clawson, Dean of JWMI. “When people feel trapped in a position and give up hope of workplace improvement, it is detrimental to both the individual and the company’s growth potential. Many of these findings could indicate cultural problems in today’s workforce — both a lack of strong leadership across management levels and an undervaluation of “soft skills” that create better leaders who know how to energize their teams.”


The findings highlight an opportunity for those in leadership positions to improve workplace culture by providing clearer pathways to advancement. The findings also suggest that companies should focus on developing employee leadership skills, as they are critical to organizational health. A 2011 survey by Development Dimensions International shows that only 38% of 12,000 business leaders polled think they have very good or excellent leaders. Similarly, a recent Deloitte survey points to leadership as the number one talent issue facing organizations globally, and only 13% of businesses believe they are “excellent” in providing leadership programs at all levels.

“There is a huge opportunity for growth that business leaders can realize by changing the way they value soft skills within their organizations, improving evaluation and feedback systems, and offer new ways for employees to think about their career paths. Additionally, employees at any level can take control of their career and create opportunity where it may not seem to exist through training, education and personal growth,” Clawson added.

More information can be found at Business Wire 

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