The pandemic has brought about many changes, especially to the way we work. Many workforces had to down tools and bring about a new way of working. But since March 2020, droves of employees are leaving employment or changing careers, which is now becoming known as the great resignation of 2021.
Most people around the world have dealt with trauma and struggle since the start of the pandemic. It’s impacted the jobs market, personal finances and generally put a lot of strain on people as they continued to balance their work and personal life. On top of the external uncertainties and negative news cycle.
People have come face-to-face with the question of what is most important to them, and some have experienced a shift in priorities. With increasing conversations around wellbeing and happiness, high levels of stress and low job satisfaction seem to be driving people out of their current roles.
The great resignation of 2021 – Are more people quitting?
A recent Microsoft survey of 30,000 global workers found that 41% want to quit their job or change professions this year. According to a study by HR software firm Personio, 38% of employees in the UK and Ireland intended to change roles in the next 6 – 12 months, or once with economy had strengthened. And this proportion rose to 55% amongst 18 – 34-year-olds.
For some, it may be because of a shift in priorities, and others pursued their dream job, but overriding it was the way employers treated them during the pandemic that caused this reaction.
We saw businesses desperately trying to get back on their feet, potentially at the expense of their workers. Whereas, employers that listened to the needs and concerns of their staff and put measures in place to make them more comfortable proved that they were able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
The importance of humanity and putting people first became a theme throughout the pandemic. We became closer to co-workers, seeing inside their homes, meeting pets, and generally getting to know each other on a more personal level, despite the distance. Yet, not all employers stepped up to the mark to support their staff when they needed to.
The World Health Organisation define burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress managed unsuccessfully. The three distinguishers of burnout include:
- Exhaustion or lack of energy
- Mental distance from a job, feeling negativity/cynical towards a job
- Reduced work efficacy
Occupational burnout is not a new phenomenon. With long working hours and many employees working overtime, there has been an ongoing battle with the work/life balance. However, the pandemic has emphasised this, with remote working further blurring the lines between our work and personal lives.
According to the ONS, people who completed any work from home during 2020 did 6 hours of unpaid overtime on average per week. In contrast, those who never worked from home did 3.6 hours.
Another common theme has been the feeling of having imposter syndrome. As the job market dried up, with many workers furloughed or laid off, those in employment felt overwhelming gratitude for their job. Many people have been ramping up their work hours to prove their commitment and productivity while working remotely.
The good news is that we’re getting back on track. And many employers are taking this time as an opportunity to see what the negatives and positives were from lockdown and working from home.
At Balance: Wealth Planning, we’ve always offered flexible working and working from home. But, despite that, the pandemic did change how we approached some of our work. There are huge positives we’ve taken from the last 18 months, and we asked all our employees for their thoughts before jumping back into old habits and routines.
As with other businesses, we are learning as we go. Yet, one thing is for sure: flexible working is here to stay, and it’s about time in our opinion.
Live the life you want
Coming out of the other side of the pandemic (hopefully) gives us all a different perspective in some way. And what it all comes down to is remembering why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. Not every day will bring seizing the day motivation. However, job satisfaction plays a huge role in our general life satisfaction. So maybe it is time to change careers if that’s low.
We’ve previously introduced the Japanese concept of Ikigai (your reason for being), which is where your passion, mission, vocation, and profession meet. Every single person has a purpose, a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. And finding it is the fun part. It also doesn’t matter when or where you start, so long as you continue searching for what makes you feel the fullest. After all, you spend a third of your life working. So, you deserve a job that you value and where you feel valued in return.
Financial planning plays a key part in living the life you want, as it guides people through big life events like changing careers and provide you with the advice you need at a time of change. It helps you reflect on what matters to you the most and creates a plan to tackle them.
Changing careers, or maybe even deciding to hang up your boots and retire, need careful consideration and advice. Both will change your financial picture, which means going back to the drawing board to see where you now stand and what lifestyle you can afford.
As people awaken to the reality that life is unpredictable, we’ve got to make the most of every moment and live as intentionally as possible. We are the only ones with the power to choose how and where we spend our time.
With that in mind, we’ll leave you with a few top tips for living the life you want:
- Prioritise what’s important to you
- Celebrate the small wins – the journey is often more important than the destination
- Be flexible – things change, and that’s okay
- Align your life goals with your financial goals
- Live your life to the fullest without regrets
If you have any questions or want to discuss your financial plan, please feel free to get in touch with us and speak to one of our financial planners.