Greener grass on the other side?

We all have seen people leave companies / projects. Some you like and will missed and some you are glad that left. In addition, there is you and I who move from one company to other. Everyone hoping for a greener grass on the other side.

Why do we move? Some of the reasons commonly known to me are,

  • Career progression
  • Higher salary & benefits / Not paid enough
  • Change career / retire
  • Moving away from new responsibilities
  • Dissatisfaction with work assigned
  • Colleges
    • Strong characters who over power you
    • Cultural differences
    • Not feel like you are part of the team
  • House move
  • Travel issues
  • Kids
  • Technology that is used is not interested
  • Not appreciated
  • Migration to another country

In addition, some people give a complete lie and cover up the actual reason to leave.

I recently read some articles on why people leave the company and some were suggesting people leave their bosses not the companies. Some suggest otherwise.

One thing I have seen are most people do not speak about their dissatisfaction and they wait thinking the problem that they have will resolve by itself. This will only cause more stress and disappointment and ultimately, the whole team get to know your problems except your manager. What can your team do? Advice you to quit mostly. I was victim of this situation and I think you may as well.

Most of the time managers surprised when some people give the resignation. Just because they are unaware of an issue. So why people really leave? Mostly due to reasons, they do not want to share with managers. Sometimes the manager itself is the problem. Once I left a company within 3 months because my manager use to dictate what I should every day and not given me the opportunity to do what they hired me to do.

Following are some of the characters I have seen in managers are…

  • Do not care whether the employees leave or stay
  • So strong where employees do not open up to
  • Make people leave because they create a unfriendly environment
  • Senior and powerful that intimidate people to open up to them
  • Want to help and coach
  • Empathise others
  • Like to have favourites

Another common character I had seen is people had become a manager to fill a gap of a leaver. They are not happy about it and not speak about how they truly feel. Even though they get the necessary training, they are not happy of being a manager. I had seen people/teams under such managers suffer from coaching/mentoring and inspiration. They mostly continue the work but can see they are stressed and not energetic of new responsibilities.

I guess the conclusion “People leave their manager not companies” somewhat right. Nevertheless, if a company not revising the pay, not revising the benefits, not revising policies to make the employees life better, then of course people leave the company regardless of how supportive their manager is.

So where does these people go to? How companies attract these leavers? What does people look before they choose a company. Some common facts are,

  • Salary & benefits
  • Learning opportunities
  • Location
  • New challenges
  • Feeling that the people who interview you believe in you and what you are capable of

When people apply, do they go for companies that they had not known of? Well yes and no.

Yes mostly if you are desperate to leave the current company and desperate to find a job. In addition, if this company gives you the above mentioned.

No because you do not trust this company, give you what you want. Why they are not popular? Is it because they are not a big company? Is it because they are not mastered the field that you are interested on? Is it because the company is a start up? Is it because majority of the employees are not in your age range so you are not aware of the company? Is it because the company had not advertised in media that you are interested in? The list goes…

My biggest worry when I change a company whether it is a popular company or not, is what kind of manager I will get (Sometimes it is not the immediate manager who conduct the interview). What kind of a team I will work with. Will they welcome me? Will I like them?

Sometimes Interviews and actual working environment is very different. The members in the interview panel matters. They can show a different picture of the company to what it is because they want the candidate to accept the offer. I have seen people disappointed after a month or so in a company because that is not what they have told at the beginning. There were time at the interview I have told that I would have growth opportunities, learning opportunities and recondition. In actual environment, I was doing a monotonous job of testing a third party application customisation and support, not allowed to move to a different project because I had the knowledge. They offered me everything they rejected when I tell them that I am leaving.

In addition, the best candidate who see in the interview can be the worst team member you had ever worked with as well.

Some companies go through job agencies because they want to be anonymous and/or because it is easy to do so. However, they can be the reason people not apply as well.

Once an agent offered me a job, where you need to travel by train and then by bus and then walk (I did not had my driving licence at that time). Of course, I refused and the agent told me that if I were “picky” like that I would never find a job. Well I did found a job quicker than he thought.

I personally like if the companies contact me directly than job agencies annoy me every now and then. In house recruiters have this polite way of addressing you and explain what the job is where most of the job agents who contacted me just want me to apply to the job even I do not want to.

Are you familiar with statements like “work for a leading financial services company based in Surrey”? Well how do I know whether I am applying to the same company that I am working right now? How do you think people will apply to a company just taking the word from a job agency? Well I do not. Normally these agencies do not tell what the company name or where it located until they get hold of your CV. So then you run in to the risk that they call you every 6 months with job offers whether you like it or not.

Of course, companies know these issues. They invested/investing so much to retain employees and hire the best. Managers sent on training courses and teams are encourage on giving 360 feedback. Companies does try to improve the benefits and work life balance.

In addition, I have seen companies advertise the best things the company does, the things that company most proud of, spread out to meetups/conferences by being a sponsor, use their best employees to talk to potentials, be active in social media and target the age range and expertise groups.

Nevertheless, if you are an employee and if you have an issue, you have to talk to your manager or if possible manager’s manager or HR. I am sure they will give you a solution or a work around. Mostly if you like the company at least give them a chance to work out what they can do before deciding to leave because the grass in the other side is not always green. That I know for a fact…

4 thoughts on “Greener grass on the other side?

  1. Hi!
    I like your post a lot! I always leave my bosses not the companies. It is very hard question to stay or to leave. I usually choose to stay and fix the problem if I have trust relationship with my boss. This is very important for me. No trust – no working together.
    Another thing : ” There were time at the interview I have told that I would have growth opportunities, learning opportunities and recondition. In actual environment, I was doing a monotonous job of testing”. Hate when it happens again. Like now.
    I think you helped me to make a decision. Thanks!


      1. It depends on what type of a manager you have. If the manager is the problem you should be able to escalate it to the manager’s manager. I did that once and I got better results. And the manager who was I had a problem with became more understanding and a pleasure to work with. At least for me 🙂


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