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The Five Jobs People Leave the Quickest

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

The Five Jobs People Leave the Quickest


Bev Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans discuss in their new book the subject and practice of stay interviews. Stay interviews are conducted with current employees  to take note of their current attitudes about what works and what doesn't in order to help build a work environment where they are more likely to stay than leave.

The issue of high turnover in certain industries is a major concern for many employers. Below, based on surveys conducted by Fast Company, the Financial Times, and Forbes, you'll find the five jobs people stay in for the least amount of time:

1. Hotel and Food Services: By far the industry that has the highest turnover is the leisure and hospitality industry. It has been estimated that the average employee in this industry rarely remains on the job for more than 2.5 years. Issues arise with pay, stress levels, and a lack of a consistent schedule.

2. Waste Management: With a median employee tenure of 3.4 years, waste services and management job come in second. Though the industry has well above average pay rates in comparison with most other blue collar jobs, there's a high level of stress and long hours associated with this sort of work that quickly burns employees out.

3. Arts and Entertainment: The actual stars and entertainers certainly get paid handsomely and have great job satisfaction, but not so much for the employees who have to work in the industry. Whether this is working in a cinema, a museum, or a sports and entertainment venue, the average tenure is 2.5 years. The main reasons given often revolve around pay and the stress of having to deal with the general public.

4. Retail: The short tenure applies especially to front-line retail such as salespeople, cashiers, customer service reps, etc. who clock in with an average tenure of 3.6 years at any one company. Constantly changing work schedules, low pay, and high stress levels are often cited as reasons people leave.

5. Technical and Technology: Despite high pay and benefits, the average median tenure for a tech worker is 3.4 years (and at Google, it's actually just a little over one year) at a particular company. There are countless theories as to why this is so but the most common one is that technology is booming and every day there are opportunities to do something different and earn more money. There is also a culture in many tech companies that suggests that employees shouldn't stay too long or else they will miss other opportunities.