There are probably many reasons people will say caused them to quit their job, but if you try to differentiate between all of them, you will probably find one of two underlying issues behind each reason. Those are the same issues that people fire they clients for, and if you experience them as a freelancer, you should do that too. People generally quit for two reasons, they have received a substantially better offer, or they are deeply dissatisfied with the situation they are in.
The first one is self explainable, let’s say that someone in the ranks of Basecamp, GitHub, or even Google offers you a job. And even better, a remote job, which would be the likely case in the former two mentioned companies. How long would you think about it? If you are not a premium rate consultant, I guess not too long. And that is understandable, as we all seek either something like that, or working on some private projects on the side. But if a great offer comes your way, grab it if you want, or you will surely regret it later on. A few people can boast about
having Company X on their resume.
The second reason runs a bit deeper, it’s dissatisfaction with the working environment, lack of understanding, and a hostile climate between coworkers. That thing will drain everyone, and it does not only drain your will to live, but it also kills your creativity. If you think that environment is a good thing, do yourself a favor and read my post from last year: Build your career (You can do better), and think hard if it applies to you. I’m not saying that everyone should leave the awful job they have now, but just try and imagine yourself surrounded with people smarter than you, discussing great ideas, and creating magic. It sure beats backstabbing coworkers.
There is also one more reason, one of the economic nature. Where you really love the environment you work in, but your compensation simply is not enough for you in your given situation. Maybe you have had a baby, your expenses have gone up, and your current employer can’t afford to pay them. This is probably the hardest of them all, the one that will make you not just leave the employer, but even your country, and maybe the continent, because if you must find something better, you just don’t care where it is.
I’ve rambled through the post, without really giving my reasons. I think now, after a year and a half, I have a cool enough head to answer those questions for myself, and for others. I have been asked that same question just today, by a coworker in a startup I’m working for. For the first time I didn’t have to think hard, just think back and realize what I had back then, and what I have now. I left it for all the reasons stated above. The offer I got was substantially better, and I desperately needed a change of working environment, although I really learned a lot of things in my previous life, I think the last year and a half were substantially better and packed with more experience and learning opportunities, which I gladly took, each that I could, sometimes overestimating myself, and the time I have, but succeeding nonetheless. Also, working with people who are much smarter than yourself is something everyone should try to achieve. Because it’s a beautiful experience, and you learn so much. Which is the most important thing I learned in the last year and a half. Never stop learning, and don’t just focus on your small little niche, explore other things, you might like what you find there.