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AUG. 19, 2022

The Great Regret

Not so long ago, we wrote about the Great Resignation. The Great Resignation is an expression coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at the University College London's School of Management in May 2021. The term is used to describe the wave of job quits seen mainly in Western countries since the beginning of 2021.

Many experts cite the leading cause of the Great Resignation, the COVID-19 pandemic, that allowed workers to think about their careers, work conditions, and long-term goals. At the same time, the pandemic meant for the employees more flexibility in their working schedules and more freedom while working from home. When companies began to bring employees back to the office, many decided to quit.

Job quits in the US have been significantly higher since April 2021, when they reached the 4 million mark for the first time. Monthly job quits have remained above this level since then, reaching a peak of 4.51 million in November 2021. The latest data for July show 4.27 million resignations for the month.

A new trend seems to be emerging, though. After the change, many people who left their job started to regret their decisions. According to the Joblist’s Q2 2022 United States Job Market Report, 26% of those who quit their job in 2021 are now regretting their decision. The reasons cited in the report are various: 40% cite the fact that they left without another job lined up and the job market proved more difficult than anticipated; others miss their old colleagues, and for others, the new job did not live up to expectations. Another study, published by The Muse, another job search website, found that nearly half of the 2021 job quitters would like to get their job back.

Companies are experiencing something similar from the opposite perspective: in the current slowing economy, many are regretting the hiring decisions of the last two years. Many companies in the tech sector underwent extraordinary growth in 2020 and hired considerably to sustain the higher business volume. Now some companies have announced either a hiring freeze or even firings, as their prospects are not as positive anymore.

The prospects for the workers who regretted their decision to quit are not the best for the time being. But even if this time the decision to seek better opportunities backfired for many workers, it is likely that they will resume their search once the conditions improve. It will be now on both employers and employees to show more transparency during the hiring process, to avoid another wave of regrets.

We thank you for your continued support.

The FAM team