The Great Resignation, a catchy term coined by a Texas A&M business professor during the tumultuous year of 2021, sent shockwaves through the global job market. Employees across industries collectively re-evaluated their work-life balance, career goals, and job satisfaction, and, in a shocking number of cases, found them lacking.
Since the pandemic began, tens of millions of Americans voluntarily left their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 35.9 million workers quit in 2020, 47 million in 2021, and 50.6 million in 2022. Those numbers are now leveling off, falling sharply in recent months and registering only slightly higher than they were pre-pandemic.
Several major factors have contributed to this shift, an uncertain economic outlook, news of high-profile layoffs, advancements in automation and AI, and the rise of remote and hybrid work arrangements chief among them. Workers have seemed to take a more cautionary approach than the mass migration we saw over the past three years and, in fact, many have reported their regrets about their hasty departure, often when they didn’t have another comparable opportunity lined up.
Now, in the wake of the Great Resignation, its impact remains. What does this mean for job seekers in a continually volatile job market?
The Great Resignation in Retrospect
Anthony Klotz, the aforementioned professor who defined these developments as the Great Resignation, has also declared its demise as we know it. However, while the number of people leaving their jobs is lessening, the effects of the movement will continue to reverberate for decades to come. The lasting impact of the Great Resignation is the questioning of the very concept of what constitutes work today and where and how it should be done in today’s marketplace.
Now, everyone from future of work experts to employers and employees across industries and organizations are questioning where we go from here. Here are several key factors that are helping to determine the future of work and shape how prospective candidates should approach a successful job search:
- The labor market rebalances: The job market is now shifting from a position of worker empowerment to a more balanced landscape. Employers have adapted to the new normal, offering better remote work options, flexible schedules and enhanced benefits to attract and retain talent. This shift has created a more favorable environment for job seekers who are looking for improved work conditions.
- An increasingly competitive job market: While the Great Resignation may have ended, job seekers are now facing a different challenge: increased competition. As companies adapt to changing workforce dynamics, they are more selective in their hiring processes, and job seekers must now work harder to stand out and secure their desired positions. Working with a respected and skilled executive marketing and job finding service is a powerful way to prepare for your search and land your dream job.
- Skill demands evolve: The pandemic accelerated digital transformation across industries, creating new demands for specific skills. Job seekers are now expected to have a broader skill set that includes digital literacy, adaptability and strong communication skills. Staying up-to-date with industry trends and continuously enhancing one’s skill set is crucial for success in the current job market.
- Remote work realities: While remote work is still an option for many job seekers, it comes with its own set of challenges. The initial allure of working from home has given way to a desire for more varied work arrangements, including hybrid models. Job seekers must now navigate these preferences while seeking roles that align with their lifestyle and career goals.
- Career exploration continues: The Great Resignation inspired many to explore new career paths. This trend continues as job seekers seek fulfillment and personal growth. Navigating these uncharted waters can be both exciting and challenging, as individuals may encounter resistance or uncertainty along the way.
Your Trusted Partner in a Transforming Jobs Market
As job seekers navigate this changing landscape, adaptability and continuous learning will be key to their success. The job market is no longer defined by a mass exodus of workers but by a dynamic, evolving environment where individuals have the opportunity to shape their careers and find the right balance between work and life. The future belongs to those who can embrace change, acquire new skills and align their career choices with their values and aspirations.
The 20/20 Foresight Executive Marketing & Job Finding career consulting experts offer executive–level job seekers a dedicated team who work with you hand-in-hand to develop a powerful personal brand that places you in a position of strength in a competitive market. And, most importantly, we’ll connect you with hiring managers at the companies where you want to work and boldly build your career trajectory.