Everyone’s Leaving My Employer. Should I Go, Too?

South Bay Careers

Today’s hot, hot, HOT candidate market means many people are leaving one job for another. And it feels as if everyone is doing so. Why? Because they can. With unemployment in Los Angeles County at 4.6 percent (in October, the latest figure available) and 2.9 percent in Orange County in October, employees are leaving for what they believe are better opportunities in droves. (And some don’t even bother giving their employers notice.)

So what do you do if you see “everyone” at your company or in your department leaving? Should you leave, as well?

South Bay Careers

Take a look below to see when it’s a good idea and when it’s better to stay put.

Better to Leave

  • If rumors of layoffs are rampant – and these rumors have the taste of reality – then it’s far better to leave sooner rather than later, especially if there’s more than one of you with the same duties and you realize that you’re not the best of the bunch. (Yes, it’s true: employers tend to keep top performers and let lower performers go, even if the lower performer is doing just dandy.) It’s best to leave before being asked to leave because you’re much more attractive to an employer when looking for work if you’re employed while doing so. There’s unconscious bias in hiring that if you’re unemployed – even through no fault of your own – that there must be “something wrong with you.”
  • Similar to if layoffs are nigh is when your company is purchased by another and it has one or more people doing the exact same thing you do. Most layoffs occur on the side of the company purchased (not at the buying company), so unless your skills and the value you’ve been bringing to your employer are top-notch, it may be best to start looking elsewhere.
  • Your employer had layoffs and you’ve survived but the workload is now awful. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed at work after surviving an employee purge, it may be best for you to start looking elsewhere.

Best to Stay

  • Just because “everyone” is leaving is no reason you should. Be careful of herd mentality and have a meeting with yourself to see if your desire to leave is because you’re now lonely in your department. If that’s the case, make an effort to make new friends at work, not only in your department but throughout the company.
  • You’ve just been promoted. It’s time to prove to yourself and the manager(s) who believed in you enough to recommend a promotion that you have what it takes to succeed in your new role. Once promoted, try your best to stay in that new role for at least one or two years.
  • If there have been layoffs, you survived and your manager starts to hire replacements, you can take a look at your situation in a much more positive light: now is the time you – as the experienced one – can be a leader among the new hires. Showcase your success with these people to your manager – how your mentoring/leadership of them has provided value – and you have an excellent argument for a promotion/pay raise in a few months.
  • Is yours a company that has a history of not laying people off in a recession? (Perhaps it asks folks to take reduced pay in order to keep everyone employed, for example.) Regardless, chances are great there’s going to be a recession or – at the least – a growth slowdown at the end of 2019 or in 2020. [Will link to January Post 3.] Job layoffs may result. If your company has a track record of keeping people employed, it’s best to stay instead of leave because a new employer may end up laying people off and if you have yet to prove yourself to them, you may be one of the first to be let go when payroll funds become tight. (Of course, as noted above, if layoffs DO appear imminent and you feel you’re not a top performer, start looking!)

Whether you’re currently employed or unemployed, today’s candidate market is one of the best on record and if you’re interested in “seeing what else is out there,” take a look at Helpmates’ current opportunities. If one or more of them appeal to you, follow instructions to apply, or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

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