Resignations spike amid pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS – The country’s open, and so are businesses; however, many employees are opening new doors to other opportunities.

“It felt like divine timing because I was able to help so many people who were laid off and I was offering resume reviews so it was a really sweet time to start my business,” said Lauren Miller, the owner of Lauren Miller Coaching.

Miller, 29, knows first-hand that the pandemic can be a career rebirth. She left her job at Purdue University’s Career Center and launched her own business just weeks before the shutdown

In the last year, she’s helped dozens of clients who resigned or quit during the pandemic, an increasing trend seen nationwide.

Resignations or future plans for them span across generations; a recent Forbes report found 34 percent of Millennials, 25 percent of Gen Xers, and 10 percent of Baby Boomers plan to leave their jobs after the pandemic.

“I would say all of my clients are looking to change industries,” the millennial entrepreneur said. “I think working from home, a lot of people have been reevaluating their job, and a lot of people are finding what they did, not as exciting anymore or they just don’t want to be in their industry anymore.”

That trend may seem concerning for bosses.

The U.S. Labor Department’s June report shows nearly 4 million people quit their jobs each month in March, April, and May– that’s a doubled increase since 2020 to about 2.5 percent of the workforce.

It’s also the highest resignation rate in the U.S. in 2 decades.

The highest turnover’s been in hospitality, retail trade, and food services industries.

Adding to the concerning numbers are the worries of many local businesses owners and corporate executives who say they don’t have enough staff, but an Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor says these increased resignations aren’t going to cripple the economy.

“I absolutely think it’s going to continue,” explained Christopher Porter when speaking about these increased resignations. “We used to say people’s work self is their dominant self. The pandemic has really changed that and it’s changed the way people want to situate work in their life.”

The OneAmerica endowed chair told FOX59’s Beairshelle Edmé a year of working from home made people want more flexibility, higher pay, and better work life balance.

“I also think remote work is going to have to be an option if you want to get the best people,” the management professor said.

That’s something echoed by Miller, whose clients are jumping into the technology and healthcare fields.

“Employers really do need to try to work with their employees right now,” the career coach said.

If they don’t, both these labor experts say to expect more resignation letters than offers letters.

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