In the fast-paced and competitive landscape of Singapore’s job market, the decision to tender resignation from a high-paying job can seem unfathomable. Yet, behind the allure of financial stability, many employees find themselves at a crossroads, grappling with hidden challenges that push them to tender resignation and seek other prospects.

Employees resign from high-paying jobs for various reasons, but it’s crucial to recognise the potential benefits of such decisions. In 2022, it was reported that almost 40% of people considered leaving their jobs in the next few months, according to McKinsey and Co.

During the Great Resignation in 2021, 18% with middle-income jobs decided to resign, while 11% of employees with upper-income jobs decided to quit—despite the top reason cited for wanting to leave a job not being paid enough.

Just as with any other position, job satisfaction is a factor for any employee to stay or leave their company. It encompasses various factors such as the sense of accomplishment, positive relationships with colleagues and superiors, opportunities for growth and development, work-life balance, and alignment of personal values with organisational culture.

Why Do People Leave Their Well-Paying Jobs in Singapore?

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1. Lack of Career Advancement Opportunities

For some with strong aspirations for career growth, the availability of prospects is crucial for them. People seek better opportunities such as skill enhancement, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and exploring diverse industries for professional growth and fulfilment.

In 2022, it was found that 64% of employees consider career advancement opportunities as the most critical factor when considering a job offer or staying in their current role. However, only 37% of employers have a formal career development program in place, leaving many employees feeling frustrated and stuck in their current roles.

Companies like Microsoft and Deloitte are known for their comprehensive career development programs. These programs typically include mentoring, training workshops, skill-building initiatives, and opportunities for internal mobility to enable employees’ professional growth and advancement.

Trust Recruit offers meaningful job opportunities that address the risk of turnover caused by a lack of structured career development, providing employees with better alternatives.

2. Poor Work-life Balance

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Employees experience burnout or feel frustrated by the lack of time for personal activities because of long work hours. Poor work-life balance can lead to high levels of stress as well as physical and mental health issues. This leads to job dissatisfaction and leaving their jobs—it all comes down to prioritising themselves or their pay.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, the average workweek for Singaporeans is around 44 hours, with 1 in 4 employees working more than 48 hours a week. While the National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 7 hours of sleep each night, only 27% of Singaporeans reach that ideal.

In comparison, the US has an average workweek of around 34.4 hours for full-time employees, while Australia enjoys one of the shortest average workweeks globally at around 32 hours. This year’s United Nations’ World Happiness Report ranked the US at 15th place, and Australia at 12th place.

Thus, it’s important for employers to take steps to improve the work-life balance of their employees. This can include implementing flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and flextime, and providing paid time off.

3. Inadequate Compensation and Benefits

High-paying jobs don’t necessarily come with the best compensation and benefits. Employers who fail to provide what their employees need may struggle to retain their top talent, leading to high turnover rates and increased recruitment costs.

To satisfy employees, it’s best to provide competitive salaries and benefits packages. Offering benefits such as bonuses, stock options, health insurance, or flexible work arrangements can help employers retain their top talent. It’s best to find a job that meets one’s financial and lifestyle needs.

Some companies go beyond the conventional offerings to provide unique and appealing packages:

  • Google –  Employee perks include free meals, on-site gyms, laundry services, and even on-site medical staff. They also offer generous parental leave of 24 weeks, financial assistance for adoption, and bereavement benefits that provide financial support to an employee’s family.
  • Netflix – Netflix is known for its unlimited vacation policy, allowing employees to take time off whenever needed. They also provide a generous parental leave policy, offering up to one year of paid leave for both mothers and fathers following the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Airbnb – Airbnb provides its employees with an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in any Airbnb listing worldwide. This encourages employees to experience the company’s services firsthand and fosters a culture of exploration and adventure.

4. Toxic Workplace Culture

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A healthy work environment is essential not only to productivity but to employee satisfaction as well. Toxic workplace culture can manifest in various ways, such as verbal abuse, harassment, discrimination, or even micromanagement.

Studies have shown that more than half of the workforce has experienced workplace bullying, and 1 in 4 employees has experienced discrimination in the workplace. This led to decreased productivity and performance, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates.

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, was forced to resign after a series of scandals, including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. On the other hand, Amazon was accused of creating a “dehumanising” work environment for its warehouse employees. Reports included high-pressure quotas, long hours, and dangerous working conditions. 

Therefore, it is essential for organisations to create a healthy and positive workplace culture through these three key methods:

  • Foster a culture of open communication and collaboration.
  • Encourage mutual respect and appreciation among team members.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and growth.

Also Read: 5 Useful Tips to Handle Workplace Conflicts

5. Unsupported or Ineffective Leadership

Slack’s research linked poor leadership and decreased employee morale and productivity. Only half of the professionals said they felt inspired by their leaders, and the same number found their leaders “stuck in their ways of working.”

Ineffective or unsupportive leadership can take many forms:

  • Lack of communication.
  • Micromanagement.
  • Bad business practices.
  • Failure to provide necessary resources and support.

Employees may be disengaged from their work and look for opportunities elsewhere.

In 2021,, a mortgage lender, laid off 900 employees in a video call that was widely criticised for its tone and lack of empathy. The company’s CEO, Vishal Garg, was forced to apologise and eventually stepped down. In the days following the video call, the company’s stock price fell by more than 20%.

Additionally, employers who want to avoid confrontation may resolve to “quiet quitting,” which is strongly linked to poor leadership. It refers to employees disengaging and seeking new opportunities without overtly expressing dissatisfaction, highlighting the importance of addressing leadership issues to maintain a motivated workforce. 


Whether it’s the lack of career advancement opportunities, poor work-life balance, inadequate compensation and benefits, toxic workplace culture, or unsupportive leadership, these factors can prompt employees to seek new horizons.

Understanding the reasons behind employee resignations allows employers to address these concerns and create a positive and supportive work environment, fostering employee satisfaction, engagement, and long-term retention.

Let us help you find a job that aligns with your career goals and aspirations. Contact us today.