Every day thousands of people quit their jobs. They reach their limit and realize that enough is enough. They bid farewell to friends and co-workers. They exit a familiar, comfortable place and enter an unknown territory—new job, boss, peers, and environment. They are convinced that the unknown has got to be better than the current situation that they know all too well. They believe that anything, anywhere, would be better than where they are.

So, they leave.

During their last day on the job, they have an exit interview with human resources and are asked: “Why are you leaving?” They respond that they will be paid more at the new job, the benefits are better, the new job is closer to home, or the hours are better.

In most cases, this is not the whole picture.

If you believe the exit interviews, great people leave good organizations to start over someplace else because of money or for more advancement opportunities. Why would they say anything else? After all, the person leaving doesn't want to burn any bridges and has nothing to gain by telling the whole truth. Instead, they give reasons that are believable, but not accurate. Most exit interviews do not uncover the whole truth.

Occasionally, the difference in money is significant enough to warrant a move, but most of the time it's not about money or career advancement. Money is only one piece of the puzzle, and perhaps a small one at that. Most people want more than just a paycheck—they want to feel good about where ...

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