Chances are, you’ve heard the term the Great Resignation in 2021.
In the US, people are quitting their jobs as a result of low wages and hostile working environments, not to mention the concern that their employers aren’t following proper safety protocols to protect them from contracting COVID.
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To learn more about the reasons that push people to make such a life-changing decision, Redditor Wataru2001 made a post on the platform, saying: “A record number of Americans quit their jobs in the last few months. If you were one of them, why did you quit and what are you doing now?”
Here are some of the most memorable answers that paint a vivid picture of the country’s current labor market.
I wasn’t get paid enough at my former job. I was working with special needs children and it was an awesome job, I really felt like it was what I should be doing. But I was only making $250 a week…
Now I work at Costco for $17 an hour plus a ton of benefits. The work is not what I want to be doing. But I am more appreciated serving hot dogs and pizza.
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You could say this post started from personal experience.
“My curiosity came from two sources,” Wataru2001 told Bored Panda. “One, I was laid off of my job of 15 years because of the pandemic and I was asking myself what I wanted to do with the rest of my life (so essentially I was at a crossroad similar to all of the people in the world who ‘quit’).”
“The second was an article I read on CNN investigating America’s Great Resignation or, more importantly, questioning if the stereotype ‘workers too lazy to go back to work’ was true or not. Thought it’d make an excellent AskReddit post to see what people responded with.”
Unbeknownst to me, I had a stroke. I was so stressed out by work, I just knew something was wrong. I wasn’t able to comprehend things the same anymore, logic didn’t work the same to me anymore. Crazy. Just found out a few days ago, after an MRI.
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While the Great Resignation has mostly affected the United States where workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers—more than 24 million did so from April to September this year—Germany, Japan, and other wealthy nations are seeing shades of the same trend as well.
“My wife works in the medical field (she’s a child psychologist) and the Great Resignation has massively impacted her work life. At her hospital, they cannot keep positions filled.” Wataru2001 put these numbers into perspective. “Trained professional medical staff are leaving in waves because they are getting better job offers, they are tired of being mistreated (which was happening even before the pandemic) and a lot of them have decided that working from home to be closer to their family was more valuable than their careers. Working from home for a lot of medical staff is not an option, of course, so it was, unfortunately, one or the other.”
I quit delivering for Amazon and uber/doordash instead. The jokes about Amazon are all true. Men had to piss in water bottles. Men and women had plastic bags and toilet paper to s**t in. We were told if we drove more than 2 minutes off route we would be fired. You could go 6 hours without being close enough to a bathroom. Next time you order from Amazon consider this, there is a high chance that a piss bottle/poop bag are rolling around the van carrying your package
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Some are also renaming the Great Resignation to the Great Realization and think it is a sign of a fundamental switch in the relationship between employees and employers.
But Wataru2001 said they wouldn’t want to discuss bigger trends and can only speak for themselves.
“I was very happy at my last job and even considered retiring from it (even though I’d have to easily put in another 25 years to get there). But after I was laid off, it made me realize that working from home, being with family, and having much better pay was much more important to me than the ‘prestige’ of my last job.”
Judging from all the comments their post has received, many more are starting to prioritize these values over work.
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I couldn’t handle the stress of working at a clinic doing COVID testing. Most of my friends, and a decent portion of my family, are people who could literally die if they got exposed to COVID so I basically spent almost six months without seeing any people that I care about. And then I was being worked way more hours than I agreed to, on top of it there wasn’t any overtime while I was trying to go to college, I just couldn’t handle the stress.
I ended up needing to choose between a job and my education and I choose my education. Even with everything the clinic I worked at has a high turn over rate anyway, so it was probably better for my mental health in the long run to quit there.
I’m working at a local gamestore now where I work ~30 hours a week and can work on my school work when there’s no customers in the store, my school and mental health are doing a lot better for it, and I get to talk about things I love with people all the time.
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I quit my last job because I worked for a psycho control freak, who had zero compunction about screaming and swearing at her mother, one of the owners of the company, in the office where we could all hear her. She also would scream at us. The first department meeting I was there, she thought she would start yelling, and I stood up, and gathered up my s**t, and she asked where I was going. I told her she didn’t pay me enough to scream at me, and I was not tolerating it.
I stayed too long. I finally decided my health, after round two of a stress-induced hospital stay, was more important.
I start my new job, with more money and less stress, tomorrow.
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I’m a veteran, have three degrees, and two decades of experience in the workforce. I was forced out of my job at a fortune 100 company during the pandemic and they took covid bailout money from the government. They bought stock instead of keeping us on payroll, then told the unemployment commission that I quit voluntarily. After fighting UI for about nine months I finally won but then had to pay all that money back immediately. The first interview I had out of about 40 applications only paid $13/hr, much less than I was was making. Employers aren’t offering a fair wage for my talent so I’m not participating in the workforce. My wife has a great job and I finally filed for VA benefits for war injuries so I get to ride bikes with my son all day and have fun with him. I’m going to spend time with my family and enjoy myself until it’s worth working again and it has done wonders for my mental health and relationships.
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They started to threaten to call us back into the office. At first they said one day a week, then 2, then 2-3, then 3 days minimum. My old commute was 2 hours per day (1 hour each way) by train. I was not about to willingly give up 6 hours a week of the 10 I’d gotten back since working from home.
I managed to find a nice stable state job where the office is a 10 minute drive from my house, but it’s majority remote work. Couldn’t be happier.
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In March 2020 I started working 10-12 hour days. Sometimes 10-13 day stretches. I was completely exhausted and burnt out by the end of 2020. I got pregnant in June 2021 and my husband got a new position at work that paid nearly double his previous salary. I quit in August and haven’t had one moment of regret. I took 2 months off to do some self care and mental health recovery. Now I’m a substitute teacher a few days a week.
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My wife got a raise at her job. She was gonna stay at home with our new baby since there is no daycare anywhere but with her raise and benefits it made more sense for me to stay home with the kid.
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Low pay and I was bored out of my mind and no matter how many times I asked they wouldn’t give me more work. I would be done my work in an hour and have to stare at the screen for the next 7 hours. It was torture. Then they announced a full return to the office and I was done.
Now in a job where I’m sufficiently challenged. And they’re staying remote forever.
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Hey, that’s me. The chief ops manager has unresolved anger issues and I was at the end of the barrel one day. I resigned and moved back to my hometown, and pretty much completely abandoned my whole life in the city that I had been trying to build over the last 14 years.
4 months later I’m back in the gym for the first stretch since COVID (fully vaxxed now), I have a new job, and I am under so much less pressure.
When all of this was happening, I just thought to myself that none of this was worth the stress and pressure and the things I was experiencing that were outside my control were just not my f***ing problem. I’m so happy I decided that and acted on it.
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I was working 70-80 hours a week and utterly burnt out. I took a job working half the hours for half the pay. Worth it.
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Because I got tired of slaving away in a kitchen, putting my all into every dish I made, getting paid peanuts for it, and barely surviving. I’m going to school now. Thankful for the GI bill.
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I quit the service industry (was a waitress) because, yes serving wasn’t always the best with people’s attitudes BEFORE the pandemic, but holy f**k once everything opened back up again…it’s like half the human population forgot what manners, patience and god forbid KINDNESS and understanding meant. Like they never learned it, and the entitlement was/IS through the roof. There was rarely a day I didn’t go home mentally and physically drained from my serving job. But now, I work at a doggy daycare, where I’m only around “people” to pick up their doggo real quick and then we run back to the playground and play for the day.
Quit because teaching in a pandemic SUCKS. Now I stay at home with my toddler and my stress level is so much lower!
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I quit because of the commute and feeling unappreciated while getting paid too little. It wasn’t just one thing but I wanted to work somewhere that at least paid okay and was not a 1.5 hour commute each way. So yeah that is why I quit.
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I quit a job where I was doing the work of multiple people and immediately moved to a job where I work significantly less for a 40% pay bump.
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Call center work sucks. I was tired of having to ask when I could go to the bathroom and having to tally it on a timer as a “bio break.” You had to instant message another team to ask if it was ok to get up from your desk. Bye Felicia. I’m in the same field but work in a face to face setting now.
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17 years and not even at $20 an hour. Took a few weeks off and started a new job with better pay, benefits and retirement.
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I hated the job. I was a new college grad and wanted to be a software developer, and I thought that job was “close enough”
Most of the job was customer service (ugh) and the other part was using their proprietary software. I wrote code maybe once every 2 weeks for maybe 30 mins. Writing code and solving problems is my passion so this sucked. Always dangling the carrot in front of me.
One day my girlfriend came over for a few days. I was working from home so we hung out while I was working. I was miserable doing what I was doing, and at one point, after outlook crashed for the 5th time in a row, I looked over at her and said “I really wanna f***ing quit”. She said that if I was miserable, there’s no point in continuing on.
That day was great. We cooked together, my coworker came and picked up my equipment, and I was officially unemployed again.
Last week, I started a new job as an actual backend developer. The job is great. Everyone is nice, I love the work, and I have extremely flexible hours (come and go as I please, just do 40 hours and show up for at least a bit mon-fri)
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Waitress. Read a text of manager s**t talking me to another employee. Got my purse and left during dinner on a Friday. Full dining room and one other server. No regrets.
I worked as a nurse for 10 years. Compassion fatigue and COVID burnout prompted me to leave the field. Probably forever. I’m living with my parents and taking the time to figure out what I want to do. I may go back to school for a different career path.
Because I got tired coming home from work every single day in pain. I’m 22, I shouldn’t be in so much pain that I walk like I’m a 75 year old. And the job just sucked as it was. Now, I work from home, apart of a huge company that takes calls all over the state to book non-emergency medical transportation
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I was being paid peanuts. Once I hit the 3 year mark at my last place, recruiters started coming out of the woodwork. Interviewed with a few and found I could be making ~20k more. Once I found someone really interested in me, I used that knowledge to give them a definition of salary I’d jump ship for. They matched it and went beyond.
I told the old job what I was being offered and asked if they could match it. They would only match 50% of the difference, but wanted to see my job offer in writing. I understand why they required this, but it did feel like they didn’t believe me.
I got the job offer in writing, because I accepted it. 3 months into the new job, I was given a 5% raise to boot. The new guys are great and have business practices that much more align with my personal values.
I actually was working my a** off for a company that lied to us all then laid off 80% of us. I am working for a hardware chain now and enjoy it most of the time.
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The commute. The lack of acknowledgment for the previous 6 years of hard work. The overuse injuries. The body aging and not as resilient in healing said injuries (physically active job in the hard alcohol industry). The company restructuring in response to COVID and supply-chain issues, resulting in most of my peers and those who direct-reported to me losing their jobs. The demands of those vacated roles and responsibilities being passed on to the three of us left (in addition to our already over-burdened schedule).
I grew tired of it and decided not to continue to support the company. Thankfully I have a nice nest egg saved and a supportive spouse. Would rather support my spouse, work on home repairs, and love on friends and family that we haven’t seen much of thanks to Covid. My priorities have changed.
Thus I said ‘see ya and good luck’ to my former boss… who understood the litany of reasons.
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I quit because I was contracting and was told I would be hired after 6 months, but that didn’t happen. So now I’m contracting for a different company.
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I quit a fast food place to work in an office. I have a much better environment to work in, a schedule I make myself, weekends and nights always off unless I choose to work from home for extra money, a $3 raise (I’m an intern and making more than the managers at my old job who worked 55 hour weeks), and a 401k. My old manager loves to complain that no one wants to work these days, but I know all the people who have left my old job. Two of us went to better opportunities and all the rest moved away for college.
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I quit my teaching job after 6 years for various reasons but primarily because of the commute and the ever growing ridiculous demands / expectations by administrators and parents.
I’ll be starting a government job soon and I couldn’t be happier.
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I’m about to quit my job but it’s because I am about to get an offer for a new job. I’m leaving because my bosses are terrible pieces of s**t who made up s**t about me in an attempt to get me fired because I filed a complaint against her.
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