Why Digital Media employees from Cape Town left their last job

Employees will leave. (Shutterstock)

We spoke to 30 Cape Townians working in the Digital Media Industry and asked: Why did you leave your last job?

We interviewed 30 Cape Townians working in the Digital Media Industry and asked: Why did you leave your last job?

We asked them to list a few reasons without providing a prescribed list in order to determine what people hate about their companies. This also allowed us to find out what attracts employees to other companies. We received quite a few different reasons, *many providing more than one, and summarised our findings below. The responses varied with the most common reason being related to the ending of a contract.

Related:“The war for talent is over and talent won.”

So why did these people choose to leave their previous employer?

Retrenchments and Contracts ended

The number one most common reason why people left their previous company was because their contract ended. At least 6 of those interviewed indicated that they needed to find a new job because their former company failed to renew their contract.

Also interesting, at least 3 people we spoke with confirmed that they were retrenched from their former employees and were therefore obligated to look for new jobs. At the time, it wasn’t necessarily their choice to look for new employment.

Looking for a better opportunity

One of the more common reasons why employees of a digital media company opted to leave their former employer, was because simply because they received a better job opportunity. In the answers, at least 6 people used the phrase ‘better job opportunity’ to describe why they chose their new company.

In search of a permanent contract

A total of 5 people were more than happy to join their current company because they were offered a permanent position. Another interviewee cited lack of job security as their reason why they left their company, which indicates that many job seekers are attracted to employers offering substantial stability.

In search of a better salary

5 people said that they were happy to join a new company because it offered a better salary, with only person specifying that they were attracted to the new company because of the many benefits provided.

In search of a better company

While only one person wanted to work for a company with an amazing reputation, another 2 reasons indicated company culture and environment as a major influence on their decision to make the swap.

In search of a better work life

While 2 people left their previous company in pursuit of better working hours, another 3 decided to completely change their career. One chose finance over beauty, and the second chose sales over teaching.

The need to upskill

Another reason why people needed to leave their employer was because they (a) were in a profession they weren’t passionate about and (b) in a position that didn’t hone the skills they had.

At least 3 people felt they were in a position for far too long, felt stuck and complained about lack of growth opportunities. One respondent even remembered something he was once told: “You do not have 20 years’ experience. You have one year’s experience and 19 years of repetition”

Interesting to note

It appeared that 6 recent graduates left their previous companies where they interned, showing that internships do not always turn into job offers. It appears that the first company you work for after graduation is rarely the same company you build a long-term career with.

From the collected data, we can deduce that employers are able to reduce their turnover rate by offering their employees stability, competitive salaries, flexible hours, and opportunities to upskill.

Check out: Gain insights to the work place practices of your employer of choice.

Who exactly did we talk to?


Of those our team spoke to, 17 were female and 13 were male.



We also wanted to know what their job title was or which industry they found themselves in. Being a digital media company, a big portion of our interviewees were digital content producers and writers for various news sites. We also managed to interview a few others, including a security guard, the office barista, and facilities employees.


Read: South Africa’s Most Attractive Companies


Those who were interviewed were either very experienced, in their first or second job since graduation, or something in between.


*More than 40 different reasons were provided, as some interviewees offered more than one motivational force for leaving their former companies.