Year of the Great Resignation

Year of the Great Resignation
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Rate in Thousands4

If there is one fact that could define the 2021 job market it would be that this was the year of the Great Resignation. According to Forbes, more than a quarter of employees quit their jobs in 2021.1 And that trend is expected to continue into 2022. A recent survey by Fox Business estimates that about 39% of US workers are looking to change jobs in 2022.2 While this does indicate that the unemployment rate in the US is falling, it also indicates that there is an abundance of open jobs and that employers are looking to hire and retain workers. The BLS monthly job report, which was released earlier this week, states that there 10.6 million open jobs nationwide, which is only a slight decrease from the previous month.3

While these stats may provide employers with a cause for concern, it can be good news for anyone who is seeking a new job or a career change. It allows for job seekers to think about what they want from a career and it better positions them to ask for that from a potential employer. This has given many laborers an opportunity to seek a higher salary or a higher level within their field. People are also seeking out more flexible opportunities that allow them to continue working remotely or to adjust their hours to benefit their personal life. This is especially important for parents and caretakers who are still dealing with remote school and limited options for childcare.

Quit Rate for the past two years: 3.0% for Nov. 2021 – which is around 4.5 million workers5

As job satisfaction becomes a more central part of the discussion for many people, some are also choosing to leave jobs where they do not feel appreciated or that they do not enjoy. For many, that means leaving a job with a toxic work culture or deciding that the burnout is not worth it anymore. The ongoing pandemic has helped to refocus our attention on mental health and to realize its importance in our daily lives, especially in our work where we typically spend 40+ hours a week.

This is allowing many people the opportunity to seek a full career change or industry change. But for those who have been in one industry or in a job with no foreseeable career development for a long time, making this leap can seem very intimidating. Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about making a career change in 2022:

  1. Make a plan! If you’re changing career fields, think about where you want to go and what you to do. Know your skills and interests and see where they overlap with different career opportunities and fields.
  2. Update your resume. Your resume is the first thing a potential employer sees. Make sure that all the information on it is current and accurate. Also, think of the aesthetics – while you want to list all your achievements, make sure that it is not too cluttered or crowded. Having some blank space is not a problem, whereas a messy looking resume may get overlooked.
  3. Consider upskilling. If the career path that you want requires certain skillsets, try to make yourself a better match. This could be as simple as taking a few courses on LinkedIn Learning or pursuing a new certificate or degree. Employers want to see that you are open to learning new things, so enrolling in a program is a great start.
  4. Network! While networking can be a challenge, especially in a remote world, it can also be a huge benefit in searching for new opportunities. One survey done by LinkedIn estimates that 85% of jobs are filled by some sort of networking.6 While that number is based on a pre-Covid survey, it still shows how valuable making and maintaining connections can be.

Learn More

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  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Report shows most recent data available)
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quits: Total Nonfarm [JTSQUR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, January 3, 2022. 

Published January 6, 2022


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