The current conversation over the “Great Resignation” could be harmful to your career. Professor Anthony Klotz coined the term, saying that people were hunkering down in their jobs during the pandemic—even if they hated their boss—and were patiently waiting for the tides to turn. Once the economy improved, Klotz predicted a massive trend toward people quitting their jobs to find new and better ones.
The concept seems straightforward. During the outbreak, it was reasonable for employed people to stay put. When approached with a job opportunity, I've heard all too many candidates say, “Jack, thanks, but not now. I’m going to stay put. Feel free to hit me up when things get better.” As millions of Americans were out of work, people were afraid to take a chance. They didn't want to be the last one hired and first one fired, if circumstances deteriorated.
Now that Americans have received their vaccinations, states reopened and it feels that we’re back to some sort of normalcy, we’re seeing an increase in job seekers. When a person enters the job market after giving it much thought and due deliberation, it is a reasonable decision.
The problem is that the media is aggressively touting the idea of quitting your job. A quick search of the term the “Great Resignation” on Google shows thousands of articles about the topic. There are plenty of good reasons to leave a job, but if your boss looked at you funny, it's not one of them.
The advice espoused by presumably well-meaning people could turn out to be irresponsible and harmful. A survey of only 649 workers conducted by a large job site cited that 95% of workers are now considering changing jobs, garnering a lot of press. The job board, which relies upon ad revenue from companies posting jobs to attract candidates, is running an aggressive campaign on Twitter, not-so-subtly encouraging people to quit.
When you quit a job without a new job in hand, you place yourself in a precarious position. You might feel good for a few days. Caught up in the temporary euphoria, you’ll brag to your buddies how you flipped off your boss and stormed out. There’s a brief feeling of smug satisfaction that quickly dissipates.