Forty percent of workers are thinking about finding a better opportunity in the next few months—be it their own start up, or one with more flexible hours, in a different industry, or at a company where they hope to be better valued.
This is according to a McKinsey & Co. report on workers’ career plans for the next three to six months, based on a survey of 6,294 Americans, in addition to interviews with more than 2,800 people in six countries, including the U.S., who left a full-time job in the past two years.
The pandemic caused people to reassess their quality of life and led to what’s been coined The Great Resignation. What may not be as widely known is that more than 4 million people in the U.S. have left their jobs each month so far this year. That’s roughly 28 million people who’ve jumped ship in 2022 alone. As CNBC reports, this trend is not about to end anytime soon.
“This isn’t just a passing trend, or a pandemic-related change to the labor market,” says Bonnie Dowling, one of the authors of the McKinsey report. “There’s been a fundamental shift in workers’ mentality, and their willingness to prioritize over things in their life beyond whatever job they hold.
“We’re never going back to how things were in 2019,” Dowling asserts.
So, where are people going? Nearly half, 48%, are shifting into a different industry entirely. This jumps to 70% for those in the consumer/retail and finance/insurance industries. Even 54% of workers in health care and education have moved into a new field of work.
Workers are also in search of higher pay in today’s tight labor market of a mere 3.6% unemployment.
A large percentage of people are starting their own business; during the pandemic, new business applications rose by more than 30%, according to a White House press release.
Many workers want gig economy jobs or flexible work hours, the latter of which became the norm for many during the “work from home,” or WFH, pandemic lockdowns, a WFH Research Project survey found.
Some people, sick of toxic work environments, have quit their jobs without having a new one in hand, a trend that has become so significant that it is no longer considered an unwise career move, Dowling says.
This represents a “drastic” change in the way people manage their careers, and in how employers assess potential hires, she says. “Now people’s attitude is, ‘I’m confident that when I want to work, there will be something for me.’”
Trouble Finding Talent
Movement in the labor market and the shortage of qualified workers in many industries has prompted human resources departments to put less emphasis on directly related experience and more on transferrable skills, Dowling says.
The Great Resignation is also inspiring more employers to reassess how they “value employees and provide them with the resources they need to do their job,” Dowling adds.
The good news for job seekers and for companies in search of qualified candidates is that “all employers have the capacity to make these meaningful changes.”
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