The wake of COVID-19 has brought plenty of critical economic change: the shift from physical to digital business, permanent work-from-home arrangements, and a looming movement many have now dubbed “The Great Resignation”.
While the early stages of the pandemic have pushed many to clutch onto their current jobs, the lockdowns now seem to be having an adverse effect. Employees have increasingly begun to rethink their job – with many deciding that life’s too short to stick with a stressful, over-demanding, and generally unfulfilling career.
This revelation seems to have taken the world by storm, with Microsoft research showing that over 40% of the global workforce are now thinking of calling it quits.
Below, we explore the details of this burgeoning phenomenon; including the changing needs of employees, how companies can navigate this climate, and how you can take part in it yourself.
Why are Australian workers resigning?
Pursuit of greater fulfillment
One of the biggest driving factors towards resignation has been the pursuit of greater passions or more fulfilling opportunities. It seems the lockdowns have inspired deeper reflection on one’s current circumstances, with about 38% of Australians looking to leave their job in the next 12 months (according to PwC research).
Employees have begun to re-evaluate their personal priorities alongside their professional goals, with many realising the stress and unsatisfactory conditions of their current job role. As such, plenty have taken the leap to pursue work that offers greater meaning and excitement in their lives.
These effects have had a significant impact on the tech industry. In survey by Talent LMS, plenty of tech employees cited a lack of “career progression” as their main reason for jumping ship. Even workers in ICT – a field already known for its vast growth and flexible opportunities – are seeking greater means of career fulfillment.
While many will opt for new roles, employees feeling stagnant might also consider undertaking further training – helping them build and hone their skills for further job options in the ICT industry. There are now plenty of courses and certifications available (many accessible online!), equipping workers with the expertise necessary to pursue their ideal tech career. The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT), for example, offers a wide selection of training programs across the country’s thriving IT sectors; from boot camp programs in software development to diplomas in cyber security.
Desire for more work-life balance
Another leading reason for employees leaving is the search for greater work-life balance. Working from home has now shed light on the benefits of flexible work – including a general rise in productivity rates, higher engagement, and overall greater worker satisfaction. Between this and your rigid, 9-5 office schedule, many are now opting for the former.
Another interview for ABC details the pandemic-related experiences of Anna Burgess Yang and her husband, who reportedly valued the option of remote work, as it allowed them to reasonably share the work of taking care of their children. Once restrictions were lifted, and their employers demanded they return to the office, it was a luxury they simply weren’t willing to give up.
Plenty are now seeking job opportunities that offer such flexible options, or roles that require less responsibility or stress. The pandemic has helped them reconnect with their personal and family-related priorities, pushing them to realign their career goals to fit these needs.
Though lockdowns have offered full-time office workers the relief of working from home, many others have also reported the opposite experience. According to Gartner research, 85% of employees globally have experienced higher rates of burnout during the pandemic, with nearly half reporting worse work-life balance. Much of this may be attributed to the blurred boundaries between one’s work and home life, along with longer hours in lieu of commuting.
As a result, these workers have decided to move on from their current positions, seeking roles that value one’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their performance.
The need for better employee support
The opportunity to reflect on one’s current work situation during lockdown has a shone light on the possible toxicities, poor leadership, and unreasonable demands of their job environment. Regardless of the pay or prestige, plenty are now aspiring to workplaces with better management and support.
News reports have detailed accounts of workers feeling undervalued or underappreciated for their efforts, despite many working additional hours and dealing with consistent job creep. In one interview for news.com.au, former bank employee Sandra Knowles (name has been changed) recounted how she “worked harder than ever before” during the pandemic, dealing with an endless line of Zoom calls and customer problems that lead to “60 to 70-hour weeks for three months”. Throughout that time, she mentioned how she “was not really rewarded or recognised for that at all.”
Knowles has since resigned from her company, leaving behind a six-figure salary. Nevertheless, she sees the move as ending an “abusive relationship”.
As the lockdowns cause workers to increasingly value their industry worth, time, and wellbeing, managers must learn to step up and provide healthier, more engaging work environments for their employees. Such improvements can range from simply hearing out worker concerns and amplifying employee voices – to more competitive salary packages and opportunities for professional development.
Thinking of joining The Great Resignation?
So – think you’re ready to join the movement?
Before calling it quits with your current job, it’s important to plan ahead and do your research. Be sure to examine your financial stability, ensuring you’ve got enough in the bank to tide you over to your next role or venture. Assess what your potential new opportunities may be, and whether the hours, culture, and benefits of your prospective gigs are worth leaving your current one for. It may help to put these factors down on paper – giving you a clear view of the pros, cons, and what you specifically want to change.
Examine your professional network to determine any contacts who may help you with your goals. Though they may not always lead to new job opportunities off the bat, they may be able to give insight into your desired role or industry – and whether it’s better or worse than what you’ve currently got.
Finally, consider the skills you may need to build or improve to make the switch. Pursuing an entrepreneurial venture? Perhaps training in project management can help. Looking for flexible, remote opportunities in IT? There are now plenty of online courses available to further your skills in areas of web development, cloud computing, and cybersecurity (all of which are currently in high-demand in Australia!).
Professional development through a boot-camp program or fully-fledged qualification can do wonders in your search for the ideal company – or even in helping you launch your own.
Looking to build your skills for a better career?
Explore our boot-camp certifications in highly-demanded areas of cloud computing, growth marketing, and project management, among others; or pursue a certificate or diploma course in varying tech specialties (including web development, networking, and cyber security). Whether it’s to build your skills for a specialised tech career, or to simply keep you competitive in an increasingly digital economy – our training programs have you covered.
Best of all, each are delivered online, helping tailor your studies around your specific needs and schedule.
Build your skills for The Great Resignation, and enquire with us on a course today.
AIICT offers a wide range of courses:
ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Cyber Security)
ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Back End Web Development)
ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Advanced Networking)
ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Networking)
ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web Development)
ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Systems Administration Support)
ICT30120 Certificate III in Information Technology
Certified Project Management Professional
Certified Full Stack Developer
Certified Artificial Intelligence Professional
Certified Cyber Security Professional
Certified Data Science Professional
Cloud Computing Certified Professional
Growth Marketing Professional