Everyone’s Leaving My Employer. Should I Go, Too?

Today’s hot, hot, HOT candidate market means many people are leaving one job for another. And it feels as if everyone is doing so. Why? Because they can. With unemployment in Los Angeles County at 4.6 percent (in October, the latest figure available) and 2.9 percent in Orange County in October, employees are leaving for what they believe are better opportunities in droves. (And some don’t even bother giving their employers notice.)

So what do you do if you see “everyone” at your company or in your department leaving? Should you leave, as well?

South Bay Careers

Take a look below to see when it’s a good idea and when it’s better to stay put.

Better to Leave

  • If rumors of layoffs are rampant – and these rumors have the taste of reality – then it’s far better to leave sooner rather than later, especially if there’s more than one of you with the same duties and you realize that you’re not the best of the bunch. (Yes, it’s true: employers tend to keep top performers and let lower performers go, even if the lower performer is doing just dandy.) It’s best to leave before being asked to leave because you’re much more attractive to an employer when looking for work if you’re employed while doing so. There’s unconscious bias in hiring that if you’re unemployed – even through no fault of your own – that there must be “something wrong with you.”
  • Similar to if layoffs are nigh is when your company is purchased by another and it has one or more people doing the exact same thing you do. Most layoffs occur on the side of the company purchased (not at the buying company), so unless your skills and the value you’ve been bringing to your employer are top-notch, it may be best to start looking elsewhere.
  • Your employer had layoffs and you’ve survived but the workload is now awful. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed at work after surviving an employee purge, it may be best for you to start looking elsewhere.

Best to Stay

  • Just because “everyone” is leaving is no reason you should. Be careful of herd mentality and have a meeting with yourself to see if your desire to leave is because you’re now lonely in your department. If that’s the case, make an effort to make new friends at work, not only in your department but throughout the company.
  • You’ve just been promoted. It’s time to prove to yourself and the manager(s) who believed in you enough to recommend a promotion that you have what it takes to succeed in your new role. Once promoted, try your best to stay in that new role for at least one or two years.
  • If there have been layoffs, you survived and your manager starts to hire replacements, you can take a look at your situation in a much more positive light: now is the time you – as the experienced one – can be a leader among the new hires. Showcase your success with these people to your manager – how your mentoring/leadership of them has provided value – and you have an excellent argument for a promotion/pay raise in a few months.
  • Is yours a company that has a history of not laying people off in a recession? (Perhaps it asks folks to take reduced pay in order to keep everyone employed, for example.) Regardless, chances are great there’s going to be a recession or – at the least – a growth slowdown at the end of 2019 or in 2020. [Will link to January Post 3.] Job layoffs may result. If your company has a track record of keeping people employed, it’s best to stay instead of leave because a new employer may end up laying people off and if you have yet to prove yourself to them, you may be one of the first to be let go when payroll funds become tight. (Of course, as noted above, if layoffs DO appear imminent and you feel you’re not a top performer, start looking!)

Whether you’re currently employed or unemployed, today’s candidate market is one of the best on record and if you’re interested in “seeing what else is out there,” take a look at Helpmates’ current opportunities. If one or more of them appeal to you, follow instructions to apply, or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

Want to Make Sure You’re Happy at Work? Choose the Right Job AND Company

Since most of us spend more than a third of our waking hours Monday through Friday at work (one arguably could make the case that it’s more than a third after adding on commuting time and the business of getting ready for work in the morning), all of us more  than likely want an enjoyable one-third day. Maybe even a great one-third day. Certainly not a miserable third.

Many of us, therefore, may think we need to find the perfect career or certainly perfect job in order to be happy.

Southern California Jobs

But even perfect jobs/careers have their bad sides. We know of one physical therapist, for example, who loves treating her patients. The other four hours of her day typing up notes and treatment plans? Not so much: she truly hates the paperwork part, so much so that she’s seriously thinking of changing careers.

So the first thing we need to realize is that we’re not going to be happy for all eight-plus hours on all five days per week.

But we can work to make work pleasant most of the time. Here’s how:

Plan for it.

What we mean is this: you’re not going to stumble into happy circumstances on the job. Instead, you need to know what kind of working environment you enjoy along with the work you like to do. You also may want to consider the personalities of your coworkers.

Another real life example: we know of one woman who took a job in a cube farm that was dark most of the time because her colleagues who worked near the wall of windows on the southeast side couldn’t see their computer screens most of the day because the sun shined right onto them.

She also noticed during the two interview she had with the hiring manager that her future colleagues seemed to keep pretty much to themselves most  of the day. The room was dark and exceptionally quiet.

A voice inside her told her she would be miserable but she took the job knowing she would enjoy the actual work and believing its great benefits – quitting at 2 p.m. every day in the summer, five weeks of paid vacation a year – would make up for the quiet, dark room.

She was miserable and ended up leaving the job within six months (before summer and before she qualified for even one week of vacation).

So ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you like working alone or as part of the team most of the time?
  • Do you need windows?
  • Do you need an office where you can close the door and concentrate?
  • How do you feel about colleagues in an open office playing their radio/streaming music quietly? Televisions on the wall?
  • Ask your boss how she prefers to manage people. Autonomy-with-guidance-as-needed or is she someone who checks on progress every day? Does her management style jibe with how you prefer to be managed?
  • And so on.

These questions may sound trivial, but if you were to talk to either of the women mentioned above, you’d understand that the trivial – the details – are critical to being happy at work. Even the work you love to do can become a burden when the where, how and some of the what makes you miserable.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a position that you thought would be a great fit work but you found soon enough comes with aspects that make you despondent, consider taking on a temp-to-hire position through Helpmates Staffing. These are temporary assignments that allow you to take work in a position for about three months before signing on more permanently (if both you and your on-site manager agree). These types of temporary positions are a terrific way to “test drive” a company’s and department’s culture to see if you enjoy not only the work, but also your colleagues and work environment.

Take a look at some of our current job opportunities. (Use Advanced Search and click on Temp-to-Hire under Employment Type.)

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