The term, The Great Resignation, was first coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at University College London’s School of Management in May 2021. He predicted a sustained mass exodus from the workforce, which really took hold in the Spring of 2021.
Many employees quit their jobs and left the workforce in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some complained of poor workplace conditions, wage stagnation amid rising costs of living, limited career development and advancement, inflexible remote-working environments, and general job dissatisfaction. Healthcare, education, and the hospitality industry were among those trades hardest hit by resignations.
But higher quitting rates also indicated worker confidence in getting other, even higher paying jobs, given the low unemployment rate. Some simply felt it was time to move on and experience aspirations they had dreamed about, but never had the time or inclination to do.
The pandemic and its aftereffects gave workers time to rethink their jobs, their careers, and their long-term personal goals. Desiring more freedom became a mantra for many, leading to a general malaise in worker attitudes, a complacency seen by both small business owners and major corporations.
It will be interesting to see if attitudes and job-seeking change in the face of a slowdown in the economy and a corresponding increase in unemployment.