Why people leave jobs (and why I’ve been lucky).

I’m not the first to say it, but here goes. People leave jobs because of bosses. Sure, pay, work environment, and challenging work are often relevant factors but relationships are key to job satisfaction. Florida State University’s College of Business partnered in a study that showed that 40% of us work for bad bosses. This study offered plenty of proof for me.

All in all, I’ve been lucky and I’ve been grateful about that lately. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from some of my all-time favorite bosses:

“It’s a long distance race. We can’t accomplish everything this week.”
(This was said to help me fit into the bureaucracy, it didn’t take and helped me figure out I needed to move on.)

“Don’t get into a pissing match with a skunk.”
(This is good advice I’ve blogged about before and tried to follow.)

“When traveling for business, always stay in a hotel with a bar.”
(Said by a boss who cared about me as a person. And, up there as one of the top quotes ever from a boss.)

“That’s a big, black mark next to your name, Susan Evans.”
(Said to tease me about my perfectionist tendencies. Yeah, that one didn’t take either.)

“Would it be a burden for you to stop at La Tienda this weekend?”
(Just when I thought a boss was asking me to do an errand, I found out it was a stop I needed to make to pick up a birthday present he’d ordered for me.)

I’ve worked for a while. There were some horrible bosses along the way. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with quotes I didn’t enjoy nearly as much.

One final thought. In the category of my favorite quotes from someone who worked for me, this is a good one, “I saw Horrible Bosses this weekend. It was hysterical. By the way, I didn’t recognize you in any of the characters.”

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Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

6 thoughts on “Why people leave jobs (and why I’ve been lucky).”

  1. Good thought here – I think being a good boss comes down to a few simple things. The people who work for you want to know that you understand and you care. You need to be open, honest, and transparent. People won’t always agree with you but they will respect you. Finally you need to show you are interested in their growth – that can mean professional development, opportunities for new assignments, or sometimes just asking their take on a difficult issue.

  2. Yep, you’ve got that right. It takes time to be a good boss, but it’s what we’re paid to do and the work we do collectively on our teams is better as a result. And, at the end of the day, that’s what we all should be striving for: exceptional work!

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