Great Resignation: Should You Join in or Sit This One Out?
Has the thought of changing your current job ever crossed your mind?
The chances are that it has, at least as a spur-of-the-moment thing, when you were faced with a particularly demanding task or an uncooperative colleague. But have you started thinking about it more frequently since the pandemic has begun?
If you have, you are definitely not alone, as 41% of people all around the world are thinking about quitting their jobs within the next year, according to Microsoft’s survey.
Why Did People Start Quitting Their Jobs?
In what’s been dubbed the Great Resignation, or the Big Quit, talents have been voluntarily leaving their jobs in droves since spring 2021, primarily in the United States. In September 2021, they hit a new record - it’s estimated that more than 4.4 million people resigned.
Some of the reasons for the resignations are unsurprising:
- Poor employment benefits
- Inadequate pay
- Fear of in-person interaction (due to COVID-19)
But these reasons, valid as they might be, are only half of the story.
Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, coined the term Pandemic Epiphany and the word ‘epiphany’ seems to describe what is going on really well. In the past, our free time was heavily influenced by work. We planned our week around our work calendar, saw friends and family only on days off, and skipped recitals, weddings, and celebrations to squeeze in extra hours of work - the pandemic has changed all of that. It made us face the fact that life is unpredictable and think about what really matters to us. As a result, many people realized that work is not high on that list, at least not their current job.
This led to people changing their lives completely: quitting their full-time jobs, turning hobbies into businesses, returning to school, and trading with cryptocurrencies. People no longer want their lives to revolve around their jobs, but for their jobs to fit into the lives they wish to live - so they can work from home, work 5 hours a day, or 4 days a week so they can spend more time with their family.
But this flexibility is not the only thing of importance - they want those hours at work to count for something. This reality check on life led people to realize they don’t want to wake up every day miserable and only “live” during the weekend, and for a great many of them, this meant changing their job so they could do something which has more meaning for them.
This epiphany goes hand-in-hand with Roango’s vision: how we spend our days is how we spend our lives - and one-third of our lives is spent at work. We believe it should be meaningful.
We see it like this - it’s our job to provide the opportunity. Your job, as a talent, is to take it and make it matter.
What Are Companies Doing to Retain Their Talent?
The companies have had a rough time as well - loss of revenue, changing the way they operate, offices closing, and supply bottlenecks, to name a few challenges - and all the while, they had to regularly pay salaries and taxes. And then, when it seemed that things were somewhat stabilizing, their talents started quitting. Out of all things, this proved to be the hardest blow.
Some of the changes they’ve already implemented are raising the salaries for the low-paid talent, introducing collective holidays, as well as coupons for food delivery. Although the first two are a definite improvement, more needs to be done because a paycheck is no longer enough to generate motivation.
Diving into talent’s mind revealed that flexibility is what they crave the most: they want to be allowed to work from home, occasionally, and/or full-time so they can have a healthier work-life balance. In addition to this, companies should truly embrace diversity - not different backgrounds but in terms of different needs. Some people would want to work 5 hours a day, some would want a 1-hour break in their schedule to drop their kid to practice - a company has a need for all of them and as long as they deliver what was agreed, there’s no reason not to allow them that flexibility. Talents need to know they and their work are appreciated.
Once companies figure out what talents really want, they need to make it a part of the company culture. This second step is just as important as the first one because introducing something temporarily just to attract people will ultimately make you lose out in the quest for talent.
Cultural fit is a big topic with Roango as well, not just for that reason but also because hiring someone for their skills only to turn out that they don’t fit into your culture can be counterproductive. To make it easier for companies to describe their culture when creating a profile on Roango, they fill in a company culture test. The results are visible for the talents and this transparency is what helps companies put together well-balanced teams, and talents know right away if that environment is one they could thrive in.
Should You Quit Your Job?
Now comes the big question - should you quit your current position?
This is a question only you can answer for yourself.
If you are content in your current workplace, if you get along with the people you work with, if you like what you do, and if that job pays your bills, you should think twice before you let yourself be swept away by the passionate wave of Great resignation.
Soul searching, finding out what you really want and enjoy doing is immensely important for your work-life balance but in so much as you can pay the bills - leaving your job out of the blue without a backup plan can only increase your stress levels.
But then again, lingering in an environment that makes you deeply dissatisfied will tire you in the long run so if you can’t afford to simply quit, it’s best you start searching for something right away. Once you find it, you can make a smooth transition from one company to another without compromising your loan payment plans.
The bottom line is, whether you prefer the safety of a 9-to-5 job or the flexibility of freelancing, it’s high time the workplace starts to accommodate the diverse needs of the talent.
It’s time to start the workday with a positive attitude in an atmosphere that allows you and your colleagues to work on accomplishing something exceptional. As mentioned earlier, we spend one-third of our life at work. We need to make it matter.