The Great Resignation: What it Means for Job Seekers in 2022 

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May 23, 2022
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In this Article

The aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown had a significant impact on the workplace. 

Companies are adapting their work culture to fit into the climate and employers are shifting their approach when it comes to recruitment.

But what does this mean for us as job seekers?

In this article, we’ll go through what the Great Resignation is, how we should use this opportunity to reassess the expectations of our future careers, and what it means for us as job seekers in 2022. 

What Is the Great Resignation? 

The Great Resignation refers to the year 2021, where the number of employees leaving their jobs reached an all-time high. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workplace has reached a number of 4.5 million resignations as of November 2021. 

Another key term to take note of is the Great Reshuffle. 

It’s believed that this is what the Great Resignation is moving towards. This is the period where everyone is re-evaluating their professional career choices and where organizations reconsider their business models along with the way they operate.

Reasons Behind the Great Resignation 

Some of the reasons listed have been ongoing issues even before the pandemic. But once the working landscape had changed, it pushed more people to take action and to take the step towards resignation. 

You might relate to some of the reasons listed. In fact, a worker who's been employed for a few years may have experienced one of these at least once in their entire career. 

Burnout

A report from Limeade found that this was the top reason why employees have been resigning from their jobs. 

Burnout is common when one is overworking and taking on more job responsibilities past their capacity. 

On top of that, based on a survey from Indeed, 27% of all workers struggle with unplugging from work. Moreover, ⅔ of professionals believe that it’s become worse ever since the coronavirus outbreak. 

Unfair Treatment at Work

This is another motivator for professionals to resign from their jobs. Some examples of unfair treatment at work could include:

  • Race discrimination
  • Gender discrimination
  • Age discrimination
  • Sexual orientation discrimination
  • Religious discrimination

Other instances of poor treatment in the workforce could also include unfair criticism, offensive comments, and more. 

Plus, it was found that not all employee contributions and ideas are being valued. A report from HubSpot revealed that 69% of employees would work harder if they felt that their efforts were acknowledged. 

Work From Home Culture

The popularity of having a hybrid workplace has increased. 

In a U.S survey from PwC, 83% of employers stated that adapting the culture to fit in with remote working conditions has been a success. 

It makes sense that more people are looking into remote working arrangements since it offers flexibility. It’s also a safer option because of the climate changes caused by COVID-19. Other benefits of working from home include:

  • Work-life balance
  • Location freedom
  • Zero commutes

The Rise of Freelancing

A survey from Upwork showed that 20% of employees have considered transitioning to becoming a freelancer. Compared to the data in 2019, this would represent a 17% increase in the total workplace of freelancers. 

And in the next five years, it’s forecasted that 86.5 million workers in the U.S will be freelancers. It’s expected to take just over half of the entire U.S. workforce

Based on the results shown, it’s safe to say that freelancing won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Antiwork Movement

This is a community made up of more than 1.6 million members

The antiwork movement rejects the traditional norms of work and supports those who experience workplace mistreatment. 

It may also be a sign of unpleasant things happening in the workplace. As the number of members in the subreddit community has increased exponentially over the past few years, it’s one sign of low job satisfaction. 

This may be caused by instances such as:

  • Insufficient benefits
  • Low compensation
  • Lack of well-being support 

What Does All of This Mean for Job Seekers in 2022?

The Great Resignation shows more than just the fact that people have been quitting their jobs at an alarming rate. 

Looking at the bigger picture, it points towards some of the problems of employment. Not everyone is satisfied with their jobs, treated with respect, or compensated fairly for their hard work. 

While it means that there will be more opportunities to find new jobs, what should come first is your health and well-being. 

So before you apply to your next job, keep these 4 factors in mind. 

1. Pursue a Career You Love

There’s more that you should consider than only the job benefits and salary.

Take into account the long-term factors of your career choice and pursue something you’re genuinely interested in. When you’re happy and enjoy what you do, it leads to multiple benefits. For example:

  • Life fulfilment
  • Better productivity
  • Improved work performance
  • Increased satisfaction
  • Encourages creativity

2. Stand Up to Workplace Discrimination 

Everyone should be treated equally regardless of background.

If you’re not treated respectfully, don’t sit back and let it happen. Report the incidents to a trusted manager or employer. There are also external organizations to reach out to for support that can help you. 

3. Take Into Account the Company Culture

Do you see yourself being a part of the company’s mission?

Another factor to consider is the culture of the organization you’re applying for. This plays a part in developing good relationships with your colleagues and employers, as well as feeling belonged since you share the same values. 

4. Mental Health

There are links between negative mental health and the corporate environment. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 264 million people suffer from depression.

Anyone can be affected and it needs to be taken seriously. 

Don’t force yourself to carry the burden and struggle alone. Reach out to a manager and let them know how you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to seek advice. When stress is prolonged, it only worsens your mental health and can affect your personal life. 

Put Your Own Happiness First 

No job is worth the expense of your own happiness and well-being.

We encourage all job seekers to pursue your ideal career and to put yourself first. Before you decide to accept the next corporate opportunity that comes your way, take into account the job satisfaction and fulfilment factor. 

If you’re only experiencing negativity and it feels like you’re no longer growing within the company, it might be time to think about resigning.

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