Why Are So Many People Quitting Their Jobs during the Pandemic?
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 and a recent survey from Microsoft found 41 percent of the entire global workforce has considered leaving their current job. Also, 92 percent of workers told Monster.com, they are willing to change industries for a new job.
Career coach JT O’Donnell says many people feel like they are being held back by "golden handcuffs," which occurs when you've managed to keep your position but are under more stress and doing the work of multiple people. "People have had enough and they want to break free," she says, explaining employees are prioritizing physical and mental health more than ever and leaving jobs that do meet their needs.
Neuropsychologist Dr. Judy Ho explains after more than a year of being in a state of fight or flight that "people are just sick of it... people are rethinking, 'What am I spending my life doing?'" She notes with so many aspects of life being uncertain and beyond our control, for some, their career is something they can exert control over.
The neuropsychologist suggests before quitting your job to ask yourself, "Is this move really going to be right for me or am I just doing it because I'm fed up and I just want to give up on everything because it's just too much?"
To really determine if you truly have job burnout (which often coincides with depression), Dr. Judy says there are 3 identify factors:
- Feeling a sense of continued exhaustion, both emotionally and physically
- Depersonalization, which is a loss of empathy and lack of connection to your job, coworkers, and feeling like you are "just going through the motions"
- Feeling ineffective at your job no matter how hard you try
If you are having a crisis of purpose when it comes to your career, Dr. Judy says one of the best things you can do is a values assessment. She says to narrow down your top 5 values, possibly things like, "adventure, loyalty, integrity, justice, and authenticity," and figure out if your job allows you to make contact with those values. She says if none of your top values are being met each day, that experiencing a crisis of purpose would make sense.
"[Ask yourself] do I think that this job I have right now is going to afford me to live up to my top values every day?" she says.
If you are happy with your current job, does the fact that so many other people are quitting present you with the opportunity to ask for a raise or a promotion? Find out how our career coach suggests handling this and how to ask for what you want from your boss.