The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. Many have rethought how they want to spend their time and the level of deaths from the virus has magnified the facts that life can be uncertain and that we all have only a certain amount of time to live.
People all over the world are leaving their jobs in droves in search of more fulfillment, happiness or more time to spend doing things they actually enjoy.
Many are rethinking their lives and prioritizing what really matters to them the most. People are rediscovering the joy of NOT multi tasking and the continual burnout they may have experienced. For many the day-in-day-out slog of a long commute to a job they don’t even like is no longer sustainable.
Many people are also choosing simple experiences over consumer spending and travel. They have realized they can live for much less and even be happier without putting in 60-80 hour working weeks to buy things they in essence really don’t need.
In the United States 4 million people quit their jobs in the month of April alone according to the Labor Department.
“We haven’t seen anything quite like the situation we have today,” said Daniel Zhao, a labor economist with the jobs site Glassdoor.
“Being in lockdown gave me an opportunity to think and reflect on my life and how I am living it,” explains Josh a corporate lawyer.
“I realized I was continually getting sick by doing something that I truly disliked. I only became a lawyer initially to please my parents and wanted to get out but never had the courage to do so.”
“The onset of the pandemic and the restrictions was the bolt I needed to finally change my life.. I love gardening and am quite creative but previously never believed in myself enough to make a change.. before I lived with the belief that I required an ever increasing amount of money to survive and that I needed to plan for my retirement.”
“Now I realize that we all only have the here and now and why waste one minute being unhappy.”
Josh gave up his stressful job and now runs a landscape business which he enjoys.
“Now I work my own hours doing something I love,” he said.
“I am so relieved I did not spend another twenty years doing a job I hated, wasting my life and living for the weekend.”
A new Gallup analysis shows that 48% of America’s working population are at present actively job searching or looking out for a new opportunity.
Experts also advise due to the increasingly chronic shortage of good workers, that companies that wish to retain employees need to offer them more support and time off.
They need to actually listen to what employees say they want and need instead of issuing tone-deaf, top-down decisions.
Many workers want to retain the lockdown policy of being able to work remotely from home. One survey has even suggested that one in three workers will quit if their employer forces them to work back at the office again.
The pandemic lockdowns have made many realize that commuting can be exhausting and they don’t want to change the working conditions they have had in the last 18 months.
Is the Great Resignation Trend here to stay?
One thing has become crystal clear. Workers want to feel valued.
“Our data over the years has always shown that the thing people care about most is how companies treat their employees,” says Alison Omens, chief strategy officer of JUST Capital.
Following the advent of the coronavirus Pandemic, “the intensity in terms of that expectation; people are expecting more from companies. The early days of the pandemic reminded us that people are not machines,” she said.
“If you’re worried about your kids, about your health, financial insecurity and covering your bills, and all the things that come with being human you’re less likely to be productive. And we were all worried about those things.”
Ross Seychell, chief people officer at Personio said that: “For almost everyone, the pandemic put an acute focus on ..how has this company I’ve given a lot to handled me or my health and happiness during this time?”
“I’m hearing it a lot. ‘I’m going to go somewhere I’m valued.’
Value is a word that millions of people all over the world are using as they change their lives in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Work value, life value, time value.
Covid-19 was a Wake-Up Call, which has lead millions to make lifestyle and career changes.
Just as a diagnosis of cancer or a life-threatening illness can provide the impetus for change, it seems the pandemic has unleashed the same motivation in millions of people around the globe.
The pandemic has without a doubt bought heartache and pain to huge amounts of people on many different levels. But maybe it is has also been instigative in influencing millions of people to finally make the transition to seek happiness, peace and a more fulfilling life.
It has made many question their current path in life and if it is really is a journey they wish to continue on with. The record number of people quitting their jobs is proof that a massive undercurrent of change is occurring and whether or not this trend will continue is not yet known.
If the pandemic has taught us one huge lesson it is that life is uncertain and we are powerless to control everything. We do however retain the power to change our life, our goals, our attitude toward the lives we wish to lead and assess what is truly important to us.