Posted On : February 21, 2020

Did you know most break up’s happen in February?

I had a discussion with a friend this week, they said they wanted to break up with their partner, they have been together just over a year now. Why I asked?

I can’t be myself, I don’t feel there is an emotional connection, but I don’t know what to say and how to say it. Can you help me John, what way would you go about ending it?
My reply was to lighten the air……Well when I was in my teenage years, the most common breaking up advice I got was to say “It’s not you it’s me”:) Seriously I questioned, have you spoken to them about how you feel? No was the reply, I don’t comfortable having awkward conversations like that, I don’t want to make them feel bad. I don’t want to tell them the truth about how I really think and feel………

So now we were getting to the truth- my friend was in conflict avoidance mode and a year long relationship was going to end because they couldn’t have a courageous conversation. Relationship counselling is not my expertise so we will leave this story here for now…….more later in the post.

But I did want to tell you that most work break up’s happen in February.

Many of the most talented people hand in their notice to leave their jobs in February because they have just received their annual bonus and it makes financial sense to move and start afresh.

I have shared above the most recent research from our Future Career Readiness Research study. It shows a massive 42% of people at work today self describe as either having a hit a career ceiling, feel frustrated or in a toxic situation. Why?

The common factor is both managers and employees are failing to have courageous career conversations. Managers we have found avoid the career development chat in fear they may not be able to meet employee career expectations. The view is most often to leave well enough alone and hope they stay. Our research shows talent are looking for new career experiences after just 17 months tenure. Career Progression today does just not mean promotion, it means people want to learn new skills and work on new projects to become more employable and marketable in the future. If you as an employer can’t offer this to your talented people they will leave for new pastures and they are right.
Many Senior Business Leaders I meet are complaining they can’t find and retain talent. It is a tight talent market for sure, but in any relationship be it work or in life where you value the other party, you need to be able to have the courageous conversation.

Harmonics has now developed the Future Workforce Readiness Index for Organisations to measure how their employees think and feel about their career, so they can take pro-active steps to not only retain talent but also provide the career development opportunities to develop them to be at their best.
If you are a Manager of people or an employee, think about having the courageous conversation. The relationship may be worth saving, but like my friend you wont find out unless you have the chat. It may just result in less break ups happening in February!

The Future Workforce Readiness Research is available to download here on

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