How Your Boss Can Tell You're Probably About to Quit That Job You Hate

If you're plotting a career move and trying to keep it on the down low in your office, you're probably not as stealthy as you think you are.

You don't have to accidentally CC your boss on a job application for he or she to know you're thinking about leaving. According to the Harvard Business Review you're probably showing you're thinking of quitting in much subtler ways.

Researchers Timothy M. Gardner of Utah State University and Peter W. Hom of Arizona State University interviewed hundreds of employees and managers and pulled together a list of over 900 "tells" which they then narrowed to 116 and then finally 13 pre-quitting behaviors.

Those 13 behaviors are:

1. Their work productivity has decreased more than usual.
2. They have acted less like a team player than usual.
3. They have been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual.
4. They have been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual.
5. They have been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual.
6. They have exhibited a negative change in attitude.
7. They have exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual.
8. They have exhibited less focus on job-related matters than usual.
9. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual.
10. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual.
11. They have left early from work more frequently than usual.
12. They have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization.
13. They have shown less interest in working with customers than usual.

Using those 13 signs, the researchers offer a formula that allows employers to calculate how likely someone is to quit.

They explain, "When they rated an employee based on each behavior (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree nor disagree; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree), those with an average score of 4.2 or higher had an expected probability of turnover two times the typical employee."

Gardner and Hom say what they found most interesting were the behaviors that didn't make it on this lists. Things like "wearing dressier clothes to work," "leaving a resume on the printer," or "missing work for doctors' appointments more frequently than usual."  They explain that though those are archetype behaviors you might see play out in a movie, managers rarely see them in real life.

So come on Hollywood, up your game.

H/T: NY Mag