Twenty-Something’s Who Switched Companies + What Made Them Leave

I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a twenty-something who landed their dream job straight out of university and has been happily employed in the same company ever since.

It just doesn’t happen like that. But some peoples journeys are a little more challenging than others, and there are things that twenty-somethings endure in the workplace that frankly they shouldn’t. I’m talking undervalued, underpaid, never challenged, and even bullied. Often purely because of our age.

Here are a few of those stories.


“I felt like I wasn’t acknowledged whenever I raised an issue and was always having to bow down to clients the company was scared of. I became increasingly frustrated and decided I was going to leave. A couple of months later I tried to book a holiday (six months in advance) and they told me I couldn’t take the holiday. No reason – they just said I couldn’t. So I impulsively booked the holiday anyway as an incentive to quit by the time the trip rolled around. I’m now self-employed and my old company contract work to me. I think now that I’m gone the company can see what an asset I was to their team- they’ve tried to replace me four times already so that helps…”

“I quit my job at Karen Walker when I discovered she was unethical and uses child slave labor (I wrote my thesis on sustainable fashion so I quit as soon as I found out). I was then bullied at work for my decision to leave and was being underpaid. I was ultimately head-hunted by Kate Sylvester which was so awkward.”

“I had spent the better part of six years working at a small media company with a relaxed atmosphere. I was comfortable, on a good salary and able to take holidays whenever I wanted, but I had reached the ceiling within the company and knew I couldn’t progress any further in my career while I was still there. The job I ended up leaving for was a larger competitor who had recently acquired one of our biggest accounts and had approached me for the position. Working at a small company means the relationships you have with your co-workers are more tightly knit and it’s much more personal when you decide to leave. The thought of breaking the news to my boss put a real dampener on my excitement for the new role and gave me a lot of anxiety, but I knew in my gut that if I stayed I would only remain comfortable, bored and doing all too familiar work. My boss was amazing and super supportive when I told her – she knew it was something I had to do for myself and it wasn’t personal.”

“I recently quit my job as a lawyer and headed to Bali for four months to pursue a different career. My reasons for quitting were varied but it came down to mental health and finding a career that aligned with my values and passions so that I could ultimately be happier. I ruffled a few feathers when I told my boss I wasn’t moving to London to work in another law firm like everyone else did and instead was pursuing something new entirely.”

“Earlier this year I quit my job working at an online fast-fashion boutique. I quit for a number of reasons but the main problem came when sales started to decline and I was brainstorming ideas for styling, shoots, ways to boost social media and work with influencers. All of my ideas were turned down and the sales continued to fall while other online stores were getting bigger and better. Eventually I was made redundant from my full time role and dropped to a casual position because they couldn’t afford to keep me. After working there for three years I decided to quit. They were ignoring my ideas and I felt really betrayed. There are countless twenty-somethings being underestimated in the workplace because we are younger, but in reality it is our energy and ideas that can move businesses forward.”

“I worked in a few PR agencies before moving to Communications. I tried heading back into a PR agency earlier this year to progress my career but it was terrible; I was bullied and belittled, my workload was unmanageable, and nothing I achieved was good enough for my boss even though my clients were always happy! My anxiety was out of control, my relationship was struggling and I found no joy in any of my hobbies so eventually I quit. Nothing is worth being so miserable!”

“I feel like twenty-somethings aren’t honest about their jobs, and I was guilty of it too – I would hype up my job when it was actually killing me inside! If only some companies took a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” In my previous job nobody stayed longer than 18 months, everyone felt undervalued and usually left after 6 months. I was even bullied into quitting an internship I was doing on my days off, when I was only trying to improve my skills to perform better in the role. I was eventually head-hunted by another company that actually acknowledged my skill set. I still have interactions with people from my previous job but it isn’t awkward, they never saw my potential and now I feel like I’m proving them wrong.”

“I recently quit my job as a marketing coordinator in a technology firm. I was the youngest employee and the only female. My colleagues had absolutely no respect for me and treated me like an overpaid cleaner. I quit, much to the shock of my boss, and went on a three-week holiday. On my last day at the firm I didn’t get a lunch, a coffee or even a farewell card. I’m now one month into my dream job as a marketing coordinator in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry and I’m so happy. In hindsight I can’t believe I let myself get treated like shit for so long and never stood up for myself.”

“I worked in a television studio as a junior media-op. I felt undervalued by my bosses and whenever I would ask for training or for a challenge I wouldn’t get it. One of our clients had their office down the hall from us and heard that I was unhappy and wanted to leave so they told me to apply for their video editor role and I got the job! But the problem was my new boss told my current boss about the job offer about a week before I actually resigned. And no one said a word until I handed in my resignation letter. “

“I quit my previous job in the wine industry because I wasn’t challenged enough. I’d had several conversations with my boss explaining my concerns and feeling complacent, but he never came through on his promises so I found a better job and am now so much happier.”


Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club