Take This Job and Shove It: Why Most Workers Hate the Company They Just Left

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In a new survey, roughly 75% of workers who left their jobs say they absolutely would not recommend the employer to other job seekers. In 2008, only 42% of employees in the same situation recommended steering clear of the companies they’d recently parted ways with. It’d be reasonable to assume that relatively few workers would give ringing endorsements to the firms they were leaving behind. (If they really loved the company so much, why would they be jumping ship?) But the numbers from a new Corporate Executive Board survey (summed up by The Wall Street Journal) reveal that today’s departing employees are especially likely to bash their old companies.

The percentage of workers who would not recommend their former employers hovered below 50% in the mid-’00s. Since 2008, however, the proportion of departing employees who have little to recommend about their former workplaces has soared steadily. The figure is now slightly over 75%.

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In other words, less than one-quarter of exiting employees would say that their old company was a decent place to work. They’re far more likely to say something along the lines of, “Run! Stay away from that company! Get away while you can. If you have other opportunities, take them.”

What’s up with the rise in employer hatred since 2008? It’s no coincidence that that’s basically when the economy tanked, unemployment skyrocketed, and businesses not only hunkered down into survival mode but figured out that they could treat their employees poorly without consequence—because odds were high employees couldn’t find better (or any other) places to work. Instead of the “job hopping” they’d gotten accustomed to, workers still lucky enough to be receiving paychecks transformed into “career monogamists,” burrowing in and hanging onto their jobs however they could, no matter the conditions.

As soon as it was possible, workers began quitting in droves. And when they leave, they don’t seem to have much good to say about their old companies. Hence, the survey figures regarding whether former employees would recommend their old firms or not. Per the WSJ:

The scores likely reflect perceived poor treatment during the downturn, according to [CEB managing director Brian] Kropp. “Companies were blunt and rough and tumble with their work force. They created a sense that ‘the company doesn’t care about me,’” he said.

(MORE: Workplace Purgatory: Hating the Job, But Reluctant to Quit)

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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