Over 90% of job switchers said they quit because the pandemic made them feel like 'life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about'
- Some people have experimented with their careers during the pandemic, quitting and switching jobs.
- People who quit at least twice say, "life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about."
At this point, it's an understatement to say that the pandemic has reshaped the economy — and the workers who keep it going.
Some workers retired early over fears of coronavirus; others lost their jobs early on in the pandemic. Some left the labor force completely for different reasons, like childcare issues or fears of getting sick.
And then, for six months in a row, workers quit at near-record highs. Tales of
Indeed surveyed just over 1,000 people who "voluntarily resigned from at least two jobs since March 2020."
"For some, the Great Realization wasn't a one-time thing," Scott Bonneau, vice president of global talent attraction at Indeed, told Insider in an email. "We noticed a trend where people had changed jobs more than once in the past 19 months, after relative stability in their pre-pandemic job."
Of the respondents in the Indeed survey, 92% said "the pandemic made them feel life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about."
That tracks with what organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz, the coiner of the term "
"From organizational research, we know that when human beings come into contact with death and illness in their lives, it causes them to take a step back and ask existential questions," Klotz said. "Like, what gives me purpose and happiness in life, and does that match up with how I'm spending my right now? So, in many cases, those reflections will lead to life pivots."
People are not only switching positions but industries. According to the Indeed survey, "85% of job seekers are looking at work outside their current industry." For 97% of them, the pandemic was the impetus for changing careers.
"While COVID created uncertainty for many, it created opportunities for employees to change to industries where remote work, flexibility and higher pay are more prevalent and enabled them to pursue professional passions," Bonneau said.
That could be one driver of the mismatch between the open roles and people looking to jump ship: Job seekers have said that the current roles open aren't good enough, with limited availability in their preferred professions, and low pay in the roles that are open.
Benefits to changing jobs may not just be finding a job you enjoy more but could be finding one that offers better perks, career advancement opportunities, more flexibility, or even higher pay. But there can also be downsides to job switching. Bonneau said "changing jobs frequently during a short period can lead to a lot of uncertainty" and added that one may move into a job where they don't feel fulfilled or even to a company that doesn't fit their standards.
In fact, the Indeed survey found "nearly three-quarters of job switchers stated they took their new jobs knowing they were temporary while they continued to seek the right, permanent fit."
The still-high number of job switchers and record-breaking quitters are all part of a larger trend, as workers rethink the role work plays in their lives.
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