Why People Quit Their Jobs

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 30 Jun, 2016

Although the Bible doesn't use the word "quit" in its many pages, the concept of perseverance is everywhere.  And yet, we live in a global marketplace that practically rewards professionals for keeping on the move, ready to leave a job for greener pastures at any minute.  Is this the right mindset to have?

Where is "Don't Quit" in the Bible?

There isn’t much about the topic of “quitting” in the Bible. The word is transliterated rarely in the scriptures - KJV (five times), NASB (one time), NIV (zero times). More commonly the Bible uses cease  or stop  instead. These words fail to convey the phrase and topic of today’s post, however. “I cease” just doesn’t have the same impact when walking away from a job or some other commitment.  

Ever since I was a child, I was taught not to quit. This is essentially teaching me not to give up, give in, walk away or lose heart. It was all about perseverance. And this is surely a topic replete in God’s word.

Galatians 6:9     Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up  

The Bible addresses perseverance (not growing weary or losing heart) often because humans are tempted to quit - often. Our national culture has made it much easier to quit than press on. In fact, on average, two million Americans quit their jobs each month – each month! (Really, it’s true, look it up )

People quit their jobs for all sorts of reasons. In a collection of research accessible through many on-line business publications, these are the top reasons why people quit:

  • Poor relationship with the boss
  • Boring or unchallenging work
  • Bad co-worker relationships
  • Lack of independence
  • Company’s financial instability
  • Low wage growth or promotion opportunities
  • Excessive overtime

At first glance these are all very good reasons to hit the road. You have probably even experienced one or more of these situations in your own career. And if you have a desired skill set, finding a new position was probably not that hard.  

So here’s a question to consider: What if God actually wanted you to stay and work things out?

Do you have a bad boss? Do you make low wages? Do you work a boatload of hours each week? Are you micromanaged? Is your company doing poorly in the marketplace? Are you underpaid?  

Why not figure out a solution other than quitting? Really…why not?

The quick answer is probably the best answer: It is much easier to quit than to persevere. This is a true statement. There may be an opportunity to address something going on inside your spiritual state of mind that can only be learned by staying. You may even be developing a quitter’s attitude if you just throw in the towell when things don't go your way.  

It’s one thing to quit a job. It’s another thing entirely to be a quitter. I won’t give you a scale or measurement to determine whether you just quit or are a quitter. I will, however, offer insight into the symptoms of a quitter attitude with an accompanying scripture.      

Symptoms of a Quitter Attitude

  • Holds negative outlook on their job or company (10 of the 12 spies in Numbers 13:31)
  • Looks for excuses (Those who refused the invitation to the great banquet in Luke 14:15-24)
  • Tends to blame others (Ahab blamed Elijah for Israel’s trouble in 1 Kings 18:17-18)
  • Refuses to face problems (Jonah ran away in Jonah 1:1-3)
  • Chooses to avoid decision making (Lot wanted to stay in Sodom in Genesis 19:15-16)
  • Gives up under pressure (The rocky soil in Matthew 13:20,21)

I’m not recommending you stay in your job and suffer through it. You may be right to leave. What I am asking is that you consider these symptoms and determine if any of them are your reasons for leaving.  

If one or more are present in your heart, staying will pave the way for tremendous growth.  And you can do so trusting that God will see you through it.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth. 

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Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life.  This is easy…right? 

A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:    

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