After burning through dozens of jobs in my life, I consider myself a job-quitting expert.
So when I saw a WiseBread article titled “The 4 Jobs People Quit the Most,” I was curious.
Here’s its list:
1. Most Jobs at Amazon
2. Jobs in the Life Insurance Industry
3. Registered Nurses (RNs)
4. Jobs in the Leisure and Hospitality Industry
How Bad Are These Jobs?
An Amazon worker told the New York Times employees regularly cry at their desks because of the stress.
Selling life insurance, like other commission-based jobs, can be tough.
Nurses face long hours and stressful situations.
And jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry often come with low wages.
But if you work in any of these fields, don’t put in your two-week notice just yet: The data doesn’t really back up the “quit the most” claim.
The first two jobs were plucked from a PayScale.com list of “most and least loyal employees” based on “median employee tenure.” Amazon’s is one year, making it number 464 out of 466 companies. Several insurance companies also show up near the bottom of the list.
But is that a fair measurement of how often employees quit, of “loyalty” or how bad a job is?
After all, if a company with amazing jobs had launched six months before the survey and hired 1,000 employees, it would be at the bottom of the list due to its median employee tenure.
A more relevant example: Amazon hired 100,000 employees for the holiday season, which shortened its median employee tenure in a major way.
Some companies routinely hire temporary workers and then lay them off. It’s not about “quitting,” nor does it say much about loyalty or work conditions.
And consider this interesting fact: Eastman Kodak tops the loyalty list (median employee tenure of 20 years) but only 45% of its employees report high job satisfaction.
Meanwhile, Amazon and many others near the bottom of the list get high job satisfaction ratings from more than 70% of employees.
Clearly, data can tell a lot of different stories. The high turnover rate for nurses probably is due to stress and working conditions, but the list doesn’t address how or why.
And those leisure and hospitality industry jobs may be staffed largely by young workers who quit even good jobs more often — or work temporarily while they’re in school.
Which Jobs are Really the Worst?
Which jobs are so bad you should quit, or never consider in the first place?
You can’t always trust lists and ratings, and any company can get bad reviews.
Consider Amazon, which has a bad reputation and a poor showing on the “employee loyalty” list. But Leena Rao’s investigation turned up many workers who loved their jobs, despite the high-pressure atmosphere.
If you’ve ever had a job you hated, you can probably recall a few employees who loved the work and the workplace. And if you’ve ever had a job you really loved, someone else probably hated it.
How you feel about your job is personal.
For example, if you hate stressful work, like I do, you’ll probably want to avoid the careers on this list of the most stressful jobs.
This post on the lowest paying jobs also has some positions you may want to avoid, like day laborer and fast food worker. Of course, the former may give you experience you need for a better job — and the latter can offer fast advancement.
Then there’s our list of careers with the highest divorce rates. If you have one of those jobs, your spouse might want you to quit.
If you have a hard time dealing with supervisors, you should probably avoid working for anyone on the New York Post’s list of the “worst bosses of all time.”
Theater and film producer Scott Rudin apparently screams at and throws things at employees, while Dish Network co-founder Charlie Ergen is said to have created a “culture of horror.”
Finally, there are the truly dirty jobs. No matter how excellent your employer, you might consider quitting if you work as a sheep castrator or septic tank cleaner. But then again, you might love that work.
Your Turn: Are you satisfied with your job, and how long do you plan to be there?
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).