Recently, I heard on a podcast that 1 in 5 American workers changed jobs last year. That seems like a lot to me, especially during a recession. I thought everyone would try to hold on to their current job as hard as they could during an economic crisis. That’s what I did when I was employed. During the 2000 Dot Com bubble and the 2008 Great Recession, I just kept my head down and worked as hard as I could. At that point, I didn’t have any passive income and life would have been difficult without a job. However, this Covid-19 recession is different.
In previous recessions, workers in all sectors of the economy were similarly affected. Everyone was scared and everyone tried hard to keep their jobs. That’s not the case this time around. While millions of workers lost their jobs, many others worked from home and loved it. Most of those lucky people want to keep working from home at least a few days per week once the pandemic is under control. It’ll be interesting to see what the New Normal will be like.
Anyway, it seems even many of the lucky workers want to change jobs. A survey by Harris Poll found that 52% of U.S. workers are thinking about changing their jobs this year. Wow, that’s a lot of people. Let’s take a quick poll. Are you considering a job change this year?
Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.
Working from home
Mrs. RB40 is one of those lucky workers who can do her job from home. She really enjoyed this past 12 months. Here are some reasons why.
- She can work at her own pace. Some weeks she works more and some weeks she works less.
- She can take breaks whenever she needed.
- No commute!
- More family time.
- She got to know her own neighborhood, especially local businesses! Before, by the time she got home from work, everything was closed.
There is a downside, though. I think she usually works more than 40 hours per week. Apparently, that’s pretty common when you work from home. Employees think they need to accomplish more to stand out. Before Covid, there are other things you could do to get raises. If you get along well with your boss and coworkers, you’re already most of the way there. Company culture is another big factor. If you fit in with the company culture, you’ll thrive.
Just work isn’t satisfying
Now that people are working from home, the only thing left to make you stand out is the work. Mrs. RB40 is one of those people who does excellent work and doesn’t really schmooze too much, so she is doing quite well. However, many workers are feeling disconnected from their employers and coworkers.
Work has a social function as well as a productive function. When I was an engineer, the job was a lot more tolerable when I got along well with my boss and coworkers. Once the people I liked were gone, I didn’t want to stick around anymore. I think many workers felt like that during the Covid-19 pandemic. The office was closed and there is no socializing with your coworkers. The job is distilled to just work. If you don’t enjoy the work, you’ll feel dissatisfied and start looking for something better. Mrs. RB40 is doing quite well at her job, but she is starting to feel the urge, too.
Office workers had a choice, but a lot of people didn’t. Millions of workers were laid off last year. Many jobs disappeared due to the pandemic. These jobs probably will come back in a year or two, but many of these same workers won’t be back. They are training for a different career, starting their own businesses, becoming gig workers, finding other jobs, or taking retirement. They can’t wait around for their old jobs to come back.
Many of these jobs are low pay so it’s a good opportunity to find something different. The hospitality, travel, and entertainment sectors were hit hard by Covid-19. Now that things are improving, these businesses are having a very difficult time finding workers.
Do you want to change job?
2020 was a very difficult year for many of us. Even the lucky people who kept their jobs are struggling. We’re all burned out and we want to get back to normal. However, the experience taught us something valuable too. If you still enjoy your work, then it’s a great fit. Keep working and getting raises. However, if your job is increasingly unsatisfying, then you might need to change career at some point. This past year removed a lot of noise. You should know by now if you enjoy your job or not.
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