In the U.S. there are currently 10 million job openings and 8.4 million unemployed seeking work. Business owners can’t find enough people, so stores and restaurants are short-staffed. These are all symptoms of a massive shift in employment that has been called “The Great Resignation,” but which appears to be more of a reassessment of work and a mismatch between the skills that employers want and the opportunities that employees seek. Some want to work remotely, some want more time for family, and some want a more meaningful career. In several job sectors, there are many more job openings than there are people with experience in those fields. These include professional and business services, education and health, wholesale and retail trade, and leisure and hospitality. This contrasts with the situation after the Great Recession, where the number of unemployed outnumbered available jobs in all sectors for years. Compounding the issue is the reluctance of many employers to hire people who have been out of work for six months or more, which, in the wake of the pandemic, is not an unusual situation.
For employees ready to participate in the Great Resignation, here are a few things to think about before quitting your current job. First, think about whether you’re running away from something or towards something new. It may be possible to make a few changes to your current situation that might shift it to something you enjoy more. No job will give you everything you need, so prioritize the “need-to-haves” from the “nice-to-haves.” Evaluate your financial situation and determine how long your savings will cover your current expenses.