By Déjà Leonard* – Jun, 2021
According to a report by human resources firm Morneau Shepell, a sobering one in four workers considered leaving their jobs after the pandemic. On top of that, the Canadian economy is facing its own challenges with talent shortages and a growing skills gap.
When we discuss why people are quitting, we often turn to generalizations, using buzzwords like “burnout” and “lifestyle changes.” But that glosses over the real reasons Canadians are resigning.
Knowing these stories will give job seekers, hiring managers and concerned team leaders alike a better idea of what people are grappling with, so they can prepare for the potential “talent tsunami” many industries will soon face. Some of them may be more relatable than you think, as I found out when I spoke to a handful of pivoting employees.
For example, a 30-year-old consultant for a mid-sized management consulting firm says her workload ramped up during the pandemic, and she had no time to cope with the stress or recharge – and she wasn’t the only one who noticed. Family and friends mentioned, for example, that she didn’t seem herself or wasn’t mentally present despite being physically present. She quit just a few months ago, in late April.
A 29-year-old who worked in sales enablement at a financial technology company referred to his experience as death by 1,000 cuts. The pandemic caused the company to tighten budgets, affecting him and his team’s work, and he couldn’t find the leadership he needed, he says. He recently quit his job and is searching for an opportunity where he feels he will have more support from upper management.
A 28-year-old, in the finance industry for five years, says she knew it was time to quit when she realized she was being rewarded more for quietly doing her work, then presenting innovative ideas. She says she was shot down many times while offering ideas to build the business and make the workplace more effective. Having reached the point where she’s just doing her job and going home, she plans to quit her job once she finds a better fit.
But, not everyone is quitting a corporate job. A 34-year-old, who began freelancing as a copywriter in 2019 after her daughter was born, is tired of the hustle. Unable to separate work from the rest of her life, especially at home during the pandemic, she’s winding down with all of her clients at the end of June to focus on her new, full-time job.
A 31-year-old was laid off during the pandemic like many Canadians. He says his a-ha moment happened before he even accepted his job offer, as he accepted a low salary offer rather than go another six months receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit with his fingers crossed.
He plans to change jobs as soon as greener pastures reveal themselves.
People are more than just statistics, and there’s a deeper story behind every resignation that has, or will, be submitted over the coming months. Do you see yourself in these scenarios? Many appear to have already made the leap. Maybe it’s also your turn to move on to the next best thing.
Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.
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