If you’ve heard of friends, family or acquaintances walking away from their day jobs you’re not alone. The pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people quitting their jobs in such unprecedented numbers the trend has been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” But now we’re learning a bit more about why this is happening.
With a shift in employee motivation from “do what pays the bills” to “do what you love,” we’re learning that today’s workforce may be more passion-driven than it was for employees of the past.
While this shift is more pronounced south of the border, similar (if smaller) waves have been documented in the UK and closer to home. In Canada, a recent survey found that 65 per cent of Canadians were considering a job switch, even though they haven’t acted on it (yet).
Do what you love: the passion paradigm
While some reasons for the Great Resignation can be attributed to workers having more financial freedoms to choose between jobs because — thanks to wage subsidies in some industries — greater pressures were placed on some professions due to the pandemic, employees staying home with young kids and the switch to remote working, recent research suggests it’s actually more than that.
Employee expectations around work are factoring in majorly, and they appear to be rooted in what’s called “The Passion Paradigm.”
The concept was first coined by humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1960s (of the famed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), wherein he suggested that work should feed a greater calling — that it should fuel personal growth and self-actualization.
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The pandemic is a catalyst for The Great Resignation
In many ways, the pandemic has disrupted the status quo, and this extends to the way we work. It has given people the opportunity to pause, reflect and ask, “is this really what I’m passionate about?”
It has given people the opportunity to ask for better for themselves and their work.
Power dynamics are factor in quitting your job
Let’s face it: being choosy about your employment has always been a realm of the privileged. In her research into the topic, host of the Don’t Call Me Resilient podcast Vinita Srivastava, notes that this mindset is not possible without a strong social safety net.
Power dynamics play a role too. In other words, employees wouldn’t have the luxury of such questions if they didn’t have the economic freedom to do so.
Furthermore, with labour shortages in some sectors, employers too are forced to halt and listen to worker demands.
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