Merge's Blog

People Don’t Quit Bad Jobs, They Quit Bad Environments

My professional colleague and friend Marian Madonia speaks, consults and trains on employee engagement.  She is also the author of No More Garbage: 90 Ways to Deal with Change, Challenges & Chaos.  She graciously agreed to be my guest blogger today, and writes this post from an employee’s perspective.

I’m looking for a new job.  I know the market is tough, so it may take me a while, but I’m out of here as soon as I can be.

When I leave, Human Resources will do an exit interview with me, but I know the rules.  You have to lie about the real reason you’re leaving so you don’t burn any bridges.  I know what I’ll tell them: I’m leaving for better pay & better opportunity.  But the truth is, that’s not why I’m leaving, that’s just what I’m going to say.  You see, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad environments.  And the boss is the reason you have a bad environment.  The work environment is the boss’s responsibility.  So, when my environment stinks because …

  • My co-workers are slackers
  • I don’t have the training I need
  • I don’t know what’s going on here because I’m not getting information
  • I’m stifled creatively
  • The only time I get feedback is when I do something wrong
  • There’s a lot of back-stabbing

… it’s the boss’s job to fix these things.  If they don’t get fixed, I share my opinion via my feet (walking myself to a new job).  It may be a tough economy but sooner or later, everyone gets to the point where he or she says “you can’t pay me enough to stay here.”

What do you think?  Is Marian on the mark, or do you disagree?

You can reach Marian through her website at


  • Absolutely on target. I think it’s always the “situation” in a work place and that’s created by the boss. I’ve also left jobs because I just got tired of doing the things in that job and there was no way to change what I was doing.

  • So true Patsy! Did you know that the #2 reason why people quit their jobs is because their immediate supervisor is a lousy leader? By the way, the #1 reason is because they perceive the work environment to be overly bureaucratic i.e. there are unneeded company policies and administration. So at the end of the day, it all comes down to the environment!


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