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June 24, 2021

Millions Of Workers Plan To Switch Jobs In Pursuit Of A Work-Life Balance, Growth Opportunities, Remote Options And Being Treated With Respect

Prudential, the large global financial services giant, conducted a survey of workers, and the results are astounding. “Some 48% of Americans are rethinking the type of job they want post-pandemic.” According to the research,“53% say they’d switch to an entirely new industry if they could retrain.” Prudential’s latest Pulse of the American Worker survey found that […]

Prudential, the large global financial services giant, conducted a survey of workers, and the results are astounding. “Some 48% of Americans are rethinking the type of job they want post-pandemic.” According to the research,“53% say they’d switch to an entirely new industry if they could retrain.” Prudential’s latest Pulse of the American Worker survey found that 25% of workers “plan to look for a new job post-pandemic” and “compensation, work-life balance and lack of growth opportunities are top priorities.”

One of the welcomed outcomes of the pandemic is that it made people confront the cold reality of life; it's fragile and could be lost in an instant. This sobering, existential fact has made many people think deeply about their lives, jobs and career choices. It raises the question, “Do I want to spend the next five, 10 or 20 years doing the same old thing?” You wonder if there's more to life than working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in an office building, missing all of the precious moments with family and friends. 

The next step is to consider what else is out there. It could be a pivot to a new job or completely reinventing yourself and starting over. This time, it will be in a job or career that you’re passionate about. The chances are high that you’ve already been secretly thinking of what you’d like to do with your life. Now’s the time to put together an action plan to accomplish the switch and achieve your dreams as the job market is heating up.

ThePrudential survey explores workers’ post-pandemic plans, expectations and perspectives on the changing nature of work.

Here are some highlights from the study: 

The Pandemic Has Prompted A Great Reset, Causing Workers To Reevaluate Career Goals

Almost 50% of American workers agree that the pandemic has made them rethink the type of job and career they want moving forward, and 53% of American workers say they would retrain for a career in a different field or industry if they had the opportunity.

Top Factors Driving Worker Migration

Nearly 25% of employeesare planning to look for a new job once the pandemic is over. The top reasons for wanting to leave include compensation (50%), followed by work-life balance (38%), limited growth opportunities (34%), being tired of working on the same projects (24%) and not feeling challenged professionally (23%).

There is a lot of talk about the “Great Resignation,” which speculates that millions of Americans will quit their jobs, especially if they’re asked to return to the office and aren’t allowed to continue working from home. This may play out well in sectors that are red hot with ample opportunities. For instance, the formerly decimated restaurant and bar sector is now on fire. If you’re unhappy being a waiter or waitress, you could easily find another, better-paying job. In other areas, this may not be the case. 

The companies and managers who intelligently navigate the new era by treating their employees with dignity, respect and empathy will win the war for talent. The executives who smartly ask their employees what type of work style is best suited for them will win over their trust and confidence.

If managers implement flexible schedules, four-day workweeks or remote and hybrid options, it will greatly help retain and attract top talent. If companies are unyielding and demand workers to go back to the previous pre-pandemic worklife, they’re tone-deaf decision will push people to quit en masse and join more understanding organizations.

You need to think clearly before you leap. Figure out how long it will take to transition to a new career, job or profession. Do some due diligence in your field to see if there are job openings before you tender your resignation.

If you want to reinvent yourself, it would be helpful if you could maintain your current position, while exploring a new career or job. You have to be honest with yourself. Do you possess the mental and emotional strength to start all over again? Whenever you start anew, there will be accompanying stress, anxiety and uncertainty.

Ensure that you have sufficient funds saved to bridge the gap between your current job and the new field you’re trying to break into, since you may initially earn a lesser income. Seek out a mentor who can offer advice and guidance. For instance, if you wish to stop being an attorney and become a teacher, speak with as many educators as possible. If you can’t find one, read as much as possible about the area you’re entering. You want to find out the real deal before you make the leap.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Allow a reasonable amount of time to achieve your goal. If the pivot requires going back to school, it could take a number of years. Once you move into the new space, you probably won't earn as much as you previously did. However, as time goes on, your financial situation will vastly improve. You will gain more experience and grow into your new space. Since you are highly motivated for the change, you will gladly work harder than the other employees. You’ll be happy, excited and motivated in this new endeavor. People will notice this and you will quickly move forward.  

If you find out that this new job or profession is not what you thought it would be, you can always return to your past profession or try something else. Once you have a taste for taking chances, it becomes easier to do it again. As long as you have confidence in yourself, you can keep trying until you find the right fit that makes you happy, fulfilled and looking forward to waking up every morning.

For some people, it won’t be too easy, as the survey points out the dilemma of caregivers. 

The Crisis Facing Working Caregivers

Nearly half of caregivers (45%) say they have considered leaving the workforce due to personal demands, more than double that of non-caregivers (19%). Similarly, four in 10 caregivers (41%) say they have had less time during the pandemic to focus on their career and professional development, compared to 20% of non-caregivers. And one-third (34%) of caregivers say they lost critical skills over the last year compared to just 17% of non-caregivers. 

Millennials And Gen-Z Fear Pace Of Change In Their Field Of Work

Four in 10 workers (42%) are concerned about their job security because of the pace of change in their field of work—a percentage that is highest amongst Millennials and Gen-Z. Survey findings show that 47% of Gen-Z and 52% of Millennials were concerned, compared to 40% of Gen-Xers and 25% of Boomers.

American Workforce Is Financially Precarious

Nearly half of workers (49%) say they may not be able to handle or manage an unexpected financial event—and 22% of working Americans describe themselves as “financially stressed” or “insecure.”

Workers Look To Employers For Skilling

When asked who was most responsible for helping them develop the skills they need, aside from themselves, workers most often ranked employers No. 1 (33%) and their managers No. 2 (24%). When asked about the top ways employers can support workers’ learning, workers most often said flexible schedules (78%), followed by employee-offered training (71%) and on-demand courses (71%) .

Workers Overwhelmingly Support Congressional Action As A Way To Aid Career Training/Development

Eight in 10 workers (82%) support efforts by policymakers to encourage employers to offer job and skills training to their employees.Seventy-one percent of American workers think Congress should pursue policies that provide career training and development, and 77% of American workers support a policy change that would allow workers to use federal education grants, such as Pell grants, for short-term job training and certificate programs.

We are entering an exciting, new time period. The pandemic will hopefully soon all be in the past. There is now a sense of optimism and hope. Companies are hiring once again. New businesses are being started. The stock market is at all-time highs. Shoot your shot. You’re in control of your destiny. If you’re unhappy and not valued at work, leave. Go to a company that cares about you.

The window of opportunities is wide open. History shows that these events don’t last forever. Take active control of your career and do what makes you happy. Act now, before we face another adversity—which always happens—and the window closes.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.
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