Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

It's Quitting Time

Examines when and why employees are quitting during their eighteenth month of the job. Findings of researcher David Dickter on why workers in their late 20s depart for greener pastures; Result of Dickter's examination.

Personnel departments take note: young employees are most likely to quitduring their eighteenth month on the job. This news comes courtesy of Ohio State University researcher David Dickter, who recently examined when and why workers in their late 20s depart for greener pastures. Tracking the career paths of more than 1,000 individuals over four years, Dickter discovered the following:

The likelihood that a new worker will quit rises slowly until that eighteenth month. Then it drops dramatically.

By the two-year mark, half of young employees will have quit their job.

You'd expect highly talented workers to be especially likely to quit--after all, they presumably have more career options open to them. But the best and the brightest are actually less likely to voluntarily leave their jobs.

Beware of folks with four-page resumes: The more jobs someone's had in the past, the more likely he is to quit his present position. Organizational psychologists' technical term for this finding? The "hobo effect."

PHOTO (COLOR): A young employee