5 Reasons Engineers Quit Their Jobs

Hundreds of engineers around the world hand in their resignation letter because they are experiencing one of these five situations.
Nader Mowlaee

More engineers are saying, "I'm outta here" than ever before. In May of this year, 3.56 million employees left their jobs -- the highest number since records began in 2000. But why are so many people quitting their jobs? Here are five reasons why workers are jumping ship.

1. The Job is Boring

Many employees who resign from their jobs leave because they are bored, according to an article by The Balance. These workers feel unchallenged, unmotivated and just enjoy their jobs. It's as simple as that.

It's a growing problem. Another study suggests that the average worker feels bored at work for more than 10 hours a week. When those hours begin to accumulate, we become bored and lose interest and focus. And you already know what happens when engineers get bored. Interesting things happen!

This is especially true when more than ever, we have new technologies emerging and more products being developed. As these technologies further evolve we become more curious about ‘how else’ we can use them, hence we start to seek new applications and aim to solve bigger puzzles. It’s a never-ending circle of evolution.

2. The Boss is a Tool

Engineers are sick and tired of being ignored by their bosses, according to a career expert and author.

"Great employees don't need to stick around waiting for somebody to give them the pay, promotions or other good things they deserve," says Liz Ryan, writing for Forbes magazine. "They have choices. They can find another job in a heartbeat."

If you don’t like your boss, manager, supervisor or the leadership of the company you’re working for, you’re in the right position to start looking for alternative job opportunities. In fact, this is the best time to start looking.

I’ve never met someone who didn’t like where he was working and ended up working there for a long time. You’ll end up leaving one way or another. Either you’ll get too frustrated and quit early next year, or they’ll let you go due to any of many possible reasons.

3. The Commute is a Killer

As rental and property prices increase in the inner cities, more people have longer travel times to work. Trains, buses, trams -- for many workers, their daily commute is a killer. Especially if you live and work in any of the world’s largest metropolitan areas.

I’ve lived in Toronto, Canada as well as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area; and if you’re here too, you know exactly why this is important.

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The average commute in the United States is 25.4 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As a result, more employees are looking for work a little closer to home.

This has shown to improve employees’ performance and productivity at work. Engineers who work at a company or plant near their home end of working for the same company for a longer time.

It’s not only that but, those traffic jams and delayed buses and missed subways or trains build up anger, worry, and anxiety. And those are not the right feelings to have about your employer when you arrive at work each morning! You would want to arrive at work with passion and drive, and ready to go, wouldn’t you?

4. The Job Offers No Opportunities

The number one reason why people quit their job is that of a lack of opportunities for advancement, according to research from LinkedIn. "Fundamentally, job switchers are most typically people who saw their job as a dead end, so they left it for one that offered a chance to grow," says LinkedIn.

It does not matter if you like what you do, who you do it with, and even if you are compensated well. You have to feel there is something in it for you personally, otherwise, you’d be curious to look for alternative job opportunities.

We all crave success and growth in all aspects of our lives, especially our jobs, careers, and incomes. This is so true for several reasons. We all have different ambitions and goals in our lives, but the uniqueness that comes with change is intrinsically pleasurable. Another reason we crave success, growth, and change is when there is social pressure from whomever you compete with. You have to keep up with your peers and coworkers.

In a survey, from all the job qualities millennials most valued, “opportunities to learn & grow” came in at number one. 87% of millennials said that personal development is very important to them.

5. There's No Work/Life Balance

Many engineers pack their bags because they work too many hours and have no work/life balance. Although engineers are a rare and tough breed of human beings, we still are human and get tired. If it's all work and no play, something has gone terribly wrong.

According to a study by Ernst & Young, work/life balance is one of the most important reasons when people quit their job. This was a global survey conducted of full-time permanent employees of several different companies in the USA, UK, India, China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and more.


The purpose of this research was to understand the top reasons why people leave their employers, and why they stay. Nearly 10,000 employees participated in this global survey.

You can also take a look at this video for a quick tour; 

According to the data collected in this study, millennials around the globe will do whatever it takes to have a better work/life balance. More than 75% of millennials want both a flexible lifestyle and access to opportunities to succeed in their companies.

These are five of the top reasons why people are quitting their jobs, whether they’re engineers or not. Right now, workers are handing in their notice because they feel bored, feel undervalued, can't progress, lack work/life balance or just want to escape their daily commute. If you have recently found yourself in one of these situations, and you feel stuck, go ahead and send me a message on LinkedIn. I will help you as best as I can.