Switch Jobs Or Stay Put - What Drives The Decision
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Stack Overflow has conducted a new survey looking into the reasons why tech professionals change jobs. Better pay is the top motivator for considering a new opportunity, but there are  other factors.



The shortage of tech talent coupled with the Great Resignation and the rise of remote working combine to make for a lot of churn in the workplace. Insights into the factors that influence developers to seek new job opportunities come from a survey of  2,600+ tech professionals conducted by Stack Overflow in October 2022. 

The survey revealed that the highest proportion of active job seekers was among the youngest group and that there was a clear trend that older professionals were less inclined to leave their existing jobs:

Active Job Seekers

Age Cohort 


20-24 27%
25-34 21%
35-44 17%
45-54 12%


On the StackOverflow blog Erin Yepis comments:

This rise in young job applicants, combined with two-thirds of 20-24 year olds indicating they were either working in their first job or have not started their professional career yet, suggests a wave of new tech talent is ready to enter the workforce. What’s more, the 20-24 age group is succeeding at finding new jobs: 27% have obtained as many roles as the average person in the 25-34 age group (3 or 4 professional jobs under their belt). Younger people are accepting new jobs more frequently, and the data shows they are hungry for more.

Although the proportion of active job seekers among survey respondents is relatively low, once you add in those who are "open to now job opportunities" the proportion of those who might move to a new job jumps to 74%, the same as in last year's survey from Stack Overflow on this topic. As before the survey probed the reasons for wanting a new job and presented them in this graphic which conveys a great deal of information:


As revealed in this chart, money is the main factor that encourages respondents to leave their jobs. Overall 54% of respondents agreed that Better salary/pay is their personal motivator when considering a new opportunity. The next biggest motivator was Wanting to work with new technologies, closely followed by Growth or leadership opportunities, both of which reason can be characterized as "aspirational".

On the other hand reasons based on problems with their current job such as Trouble with my teammates, Trouble with my direct manager and Trouble with leadership at my company were cited much less frequently as was Having a bad day (or week or month) at work. The most common "dissatisfaction" motivator was Lack of learning opportunities which could easily be recast to counts as an aspirational motivator. Other reasons for making a change  include Looking to relocate, Curious about other companies and Just because,  all of which had more traction than reasons to do with problems with existing jobs. 

More Information

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 December 2022 )