It’s being called The Great Resignation as people quit their jobs after companies roll out their “back to the office” policies. More than 40% of Americans want to quit their jobs and millions already have done so.

Employers are experiencing a massive amount of employees quitting just one year after the highest unemployment rates since the great depression.

So what is the #GreatResignation, what does this mean for you as an employee? Why are people quitting jobs? Should I have quit my job? Should you quit YOUR job?

This video explains some of the reasons why people are quitting their jobs and why I personally quit my own job as well.

What Is The Great Resignation?

Workers are quitting in record numbers as employers call people back to work and new job opportunities open up.

A record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to the Labor Department. Since then millions more have quit over the summer of 2021.

People are leaving for a number of different reasons.

Some of those people left for new jobs and others quit with no plan. Others quit for better jobs. Some quit because they had to get vaccinated or others wouldn’t get vaccinated. And some parents quit to care for kids and homeschool again as a new variant causes problems among schools.

The amount of resignations has dramatically increased since the spring when offices opened back up and mask mandates were lifted.

Why People Are Quitting Their Jobs

The pandemic began over a year ago. As things go “back to normal” people are heading to the office as employers demand their return.

However from the employee side, the pandemic changed the game for people and many are now quitting their jobs.

Why do people want to quit? 2020 made a lot of us step back and re-evaluate both our lifestyles and the jobs we were working. 

Remote Work

A lot of us discovered our jobs could be done remotely just as well as they could in an office.

Now Covid is less of a threat and employers are demanding people come back to the office. They want you to sit in traffic for hours each week to do the same job you already proved you could do at home. You were doing the same job with less stress, less time getting ready, less time commuting, and less costs.

I totally relate to all of this. Before the pandemic I was told that my company would never allow us to work remotely but we did and honestly it was fine. I did my job and coworkers didn’t even know I was at home vs in my office. Now? My manager demands we are in the office even though technically we are working remotely from our main location.

It doesn’t make sense at all for many people to be in the office.

The lack of remote work options and the additional hour of driving per day in stressful rush hour traffic is making me join those people wanting to quit their jobs. 

Job Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

The Great Resignation has forced people to evaluate their work/life balance. After a year spent in less stressful situations many people realized they need more flexibility with work.

Working remotely full time or in a hybrid situation gives you more of your life back. It cuts out commuting and a lot of the distractions of being in the office.

Remote work and job flexibility allows people to control their lives better and be more productive.

It’s not for everyone. Some extroverts or certain jobs can’t be remote, but when it is a possibility and works just as well? It’s really a win win.

Employees are realizing they can get job flexibility via remote work from certain companies, but others do offer it. This means it is time to leave behind the jobs that refuse to give an inch.

Why wouldn’t you want to be more comfortable, have more time, and still be able to do your job? 

Job Security

Another thing people learned on 2020: my job isn’t as safe as I thought.

Many people lost their jobs for months at no fault of their own. This made people think more critically about their jobs.

Is any job really that secure?

The past year also gave people time to learn new skills and train for new jobs or even create new businesses. We learned to build new levels of security after learning that having one stable job wasn’t as secure as we thought.

Jobs aren’t that safe and they aren’t guaranteed so many people took advantage of this realization.

People decided to quit an unsafe industry that laid them off and find better job security in new industries or their own businesses and side hustles.

Location Independence

People realized with the opportunity to remote work that they didn’t like where they lived. Without the need to go into an office every day many people moved to new locations and picked their homes based on the life they wanted to live outside of commuting to work.

A lot of people realized they didn’t even like living in the state they were in and they were now free to be location independent.

They discovered that with the rise of remote job offerings they could go ahead and get a remote job in a different state and then live wherever they wanted.

Location independence is the dream of millions of people and one that can be yours with remote work options.

If your company doesn’t offer remote work options, then you could apply for a different job to work remotely. With a remote job or your own online business you can move and live wherever you wanted.

Better Pay

Another thing that people are realizing in this Great Resignation is that they likely are not getting paid enough.

Companies are not keeping up with the rate of inflation and the true cost of living. Wages have stagnated but the cost of living continues to rise.

Does it make sense to stay with a company that won’t give you a pay raise or only 2-3% when inflation is near 5%? If you do that means you’re working for less pay. Without a raise the money you earn won’t go as far when you spend it. You are literally making less money to do the same job.

People have decided to quit jobs for better paying work.

People are learning that their jobs should be better paid. They are not willing to take it during a phenomenal job market so they are quitting for better paying jobs or opportunities.

When there are a lot of job openings and not enough candidates, people realize they have more options. Right now the job market is very strong and people are realizing they can get jobs with much better pay.

People are moving to companies that pay better because the companies that pay well attract the best workers.

Values Alignment

The past year has also caused many of us to look at our life goals and values more closely.

We have had to decide if our jobs line up with those values. For many of us they do not.

Sometimes you have to just get a job to pay the bills. That is 100% ok. You can’t always demand everything you need from a job. You can’t always expect a job to align with your values when you need to put food on the table.

But when times changes? It is always a good idea to evaluate if that job you took and stuck with actually makes sense for what you want out of life.

Many of us have had time for reflection and we have been able to ask ourselves bigger questions:

  • Is this job really what I want to be doing?
  • Does this align with my values?
  • Do I feel like I’m making the world better here?
  • Is this even what I want to do for the next five years?
  • Will I regret spending more of my life in this position?

These are heavy questions that we often ignore when we are just grinding away at work. But when we have time for reflection these are important questions to ask ourselves.

We only get one life. Many of us we don’t need to waste that life in toxic jobs that don’t align with our values.

My Experience Quitting My Job

I graduated college directly into the Great Recession so I’m not one to miss any millennial trend, including quitting my job during the Great Resignation.

After years of working a job that made me miserable to pay off my debt, I finally had enough and quit my job.

I struggled with the decision because I was happy there to start. I also like the company at large and the owners of the company are amazing… but ultimately it’s the best choice for me to leave.

Life is too short to be miserable because of your job.

People are quitting jobs now because 2020 taught us many lessons about how we want to live our lives.

In my case I realized my manager had a vision for his department that did not match what I wanted from work. The Gallup research that shows people leave bosses, not companies is right because an inflexible manager can push people out the door.

Many of us realized after the past year that life is too short to stay in situations that don’t serve us well This includes jobs that don’t fit what we need in life.

If you’ve been thinking about quitting your job, then I encourage you to look at job openings available right now. There are many new opportunities and it is a great time to potentially quit your job and start something new.