After Covid struck, there is a good chance you have considered quitting your job. You are not alone! In the United States, experts began to call this movement of more and more people leaving their jobs “The Great Resignation”.
Although the Great Resignation is not as prominent in Canada as in the US, you surely have heard about this by now. But what exactly does this mean? Are people stopping to work altogether? What can businesses do to address this trend? And, most importantly, why are people leaving their jobs en masse during such a volatile period? Is there any logic in quitting when the economy is shaky?
Is quitting your job a Covid “fad”?
Between April and September of 2021, more than 19 million Americans have quit their jobs. However, this doesn’t impact all industries in the same way. Most people that have resigned are middle-aged, working in tech and health care.
What do these industries have in common? Well, first of all, they are very stressful. Secondly, interestingly enough, there was a rise in demand for these jobs even before people started quitting.
If the report of CIBC Capital Markets about Canadian resignations proves anything, it is that people who have less job security, less support, fewer benefits, and lower wages are more likely to quit.
As CIBC Economist Avery Shenfeld explained to Bloomberg: “Canada provided more of its overall pandemic-related business support through generous wage subsidies, which incented employers to keep workers on the job even when their overall output was minimal”.
In Canada, we see more of a Great Reshuffle than a Great Resignation. And with the recovery of the US economy, maybe that will happen there too. It is possible to argue that quitting your job during the pandemic is temporary, but demanding better wages and benefits is not.
But if you live in Canada, why does what is happening south of the border matter? For companies, it is a warning of what workers are looking for. And for individuals, it signals a time for a change.
Reasons for quitting your job
1. Quality of life
One of the things that most people realized over these last two years is the importance of other people in our lives. Amongst the loss of many loved ones and the opportunity of spending more time with their children during remote work, employees have de-prioritized work over family.
2. Searching for passion
It is easy to understand why you would want to change paths rather than just quitting your job. When confronted with all the feelings and realizations the Covid pandemic brought on, adding meaning to our day-to-day lives is a given. Money doesn’t seem that important, and people realize they want to follow their dreams. Of course, having a challenging workplace, to begin with, can drive people away.
3. Looking for better pay
Some people have opted to stay in the same industry. In IT and healthcare, job opportunities are rising, and there is more demand than supply. Companies are getting competitive, and it is easier to negotiate a better salary. Workers who had time to broaden their skills during lockdowns are now a great commodity.
4. Start your own business
Opening a new business has a lot to do with passion seeking, but it entails more than that. As we begin to understand what is important for us in the workplace, startups are founded with many of these new principles already established. New business owners now have the mission of providing a great workplace not only for themselves but also for their new employees. Thankfully, Canada has great options for those that decide to pursue this path.
What about companies and entrepreneurs?
With the great resignation turning into a great reshuffle, business owners need to know that they have to stay competitive not only for their clients but also for their employees.
In Canada, many full-time workers have great support, but passion seeking is still a motive to quit your job. This means Human Resources has the task of making people feel heard and understand what makes your employees’ eyes light up and develop their skills. Support is especially important when working with contractors and international workers. Even if remote work allows companies to hire from all over the world, it is important to remember that Covid is global. It isn’t only North Americans that are reviewing their