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Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.
There’s no doubt people are thinking about leaving their jobs right now. 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.
What I am reading around the web
- Do you love hopping on your Peloton during lunch to get in a workout? Look out – cybersecurity company McAfee recently discovered a vulnerability on Peloton’s Bike+ that allows hackers to access your bike screen and potentially spy on you using your microphone and camera.
- We already know that the majority of people don’t want to return to the office in the same way they did before the pandemic. But, in some cases, they won’t have much of a choice. If you’re a manager tackling this challenge, here’s how to lead your team through the transition.
- In an interesting turn of events, companies are offering incentives to vaccinated consumers. Here’s how it’s benefiting companies and society.
- Since Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke’s leaked e-mail hit the press, there’s been a lot of debate around using the words “family” or “team” in a workplace setting. This article in Forbes dives into how workplace cultures are much more complex than the binaries we’ve created.
More opinion from Globe Careers
What networks are in place to help employees heal from societal traumas? Those who work in organizations that operate in potentially dangerous environments, such as construction, manufacturing, energy or mining, will be familiar with the regular practice of conducting “safety moments” at the start of meetings. Here’s what other industries can also learn from them, writes leadership coach Eileen Dooley
Who suffers the most when it comes to pandemic-related stress? Look closely at the data. If we look at a single snapshot of any given month, young adults 20 to 29 are experiencing the lowest levels of mental health, writes Navio Kwok for Leadership Lab
More from the section
Canadian industries struggle to hire and retain talent, data suggests. The factors driving the talent shortage range from pandemic-related burnout to increased competition, a pause in immigration and new lifestyle preferences, as well as a continuation of prepandemic talent gaps.
Canada’s growing pool of gig workers among the world’s highest paid, new data suggests Australia-based design platform Canva recently analyzed international data from 50 popular job categories across the online freelance platform Fiverr.
How do I overcome my performance insecurities? In this week’s Nine to Five advice column, a reader thinks their manager would be receptive, but they’re also nervous that by showing their hand, they’ll look incompetent.
In a world of remote work through screens, watch your digital body language. In a work world where communication is heavily dependent on screens, recipients of our messages can’t see us or hear us.
A former travel industry marketing manager wants a job with room to grow. After being laid off in November, 2020, this applicant in The Globe’s Resume Review has applied to 40 positions so far in a bid to find the right fit.
Leadership Lab is a series where executives, experts and writers share their views and advice about the world of work. You can find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab and guidelines for how to contribute to the column here.
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