What does it mean when the key technology expert suddenly finds another job? Once or twice a year, for the last twenty years I get a call like this.
“James, our top IT guy just put in his two weeks notice. I’m not sure we can function without him. What should we do? Could you come over and help!”
What I’ve found is that there are three reasons key technical people leave:
- About 20% of the time – The person is bored, went interviewing and got a much better offer.
- About 40% of the time – The person realizes they are in over their heads in that the technology requirements have passed their understanding and experience. Unfortunately, the person is not able to express this to management (or management just won’t listen). So they abruptly leave.
- Again about 40% of the time – The person was too ignorant to realize they were in over their heads. Later the IT Technician sees a major technical emergency in the company’s future. Something so bad, usually business impacting, that will get them fired. Instead of telling someone, they find another role at another company. It may be 1 week to 6 months later before everything begins falling apart at the original company.