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People Aren’t Just Quitting Their Jobs. They’re Redefining Success

Why the Great Resignation is about more than burnout


It’s being called “the Great Resignation” and “the Great Awakening.” The terms are being used to describe a global phenomenon in which, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, a record number of people are quitting their jobs. In April alone, that exodus amounted to four million U.S. workers, or 2.7 percent of the workforce, the highest rate since 2000. As a Wall Street Journal headline put it, “Forget Going Back to the Office — People Are Just Quitting Instead.” Experts are predicting another “wave of resignations”; a Microsoft survey shows a staggering 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their jobs this year. And, according to a Prudential survey, if given the chance to retrain, 53 percent would take a job in a new industry altogether. As Kevin Roose wrote in a New York Times article with the headline “Welcome to the YOLO Economy“: “For a growing number of people with financial cushions and in-demand skills, the dread and anxiety of the past year are giving way to a new kind of professional fearlessness.”

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