The Great Resignation is one of the top concerns for employers across the globe. Also known as “Big Quit”, it has become an economic trend that has significantly disrupted the job market.
While the essence of this phenomenon is common knowledge, some questions remain unanswered. In this blog, we seek answers to important questions like what is the Great Resignation? how has it impacted India? and what does it mean for you?
What is the Great Resignation?
Started in the USA in 2020, the Great Resignation is the voluntary mass resignation of employees from the workforce.
Due to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies had to introduce new rules and work processes, leading to drastic changes in the workplace.
The great resignation has affected India too. With slashed salaries, overtime shifts, and the need to work during a pandemic, the employees started feeling exhausted, and since the return efforts were so little, they decided to call it quits on their job.
About 40% of the employees chose to quit the workforce as they were no longer interested in the traditional approach of employers where job security, work-life balance, and learning opportunities were scarce.
With the increasing scope of skill development, remote jobs, and freelance opportunities, people found it easier to quit their jobs and start afresh in a place where they could find work-life balance and control their work style.
How did the Great Resignation affect India?
The impact of Great Resignation went beyond the USA and soon found its way to India.
Anyone who was a part of the Indian workforce in 2021 would have experienced (or know someone who experienced) a shocking shift in the corporate culture.
With frozen hiring processes, the chances of finding new job opportunities were scant, and slashed salaries, increased work hours, restricted leaves, and other factors led to the Great Resignation in India.
From opening food stalls after losing their jobs to quitting jobs to maintain social distance during the pandemic, many employees left the workforce for good. Others developed new skills and switched careers.
The trend of switching careers is so prevalent that the Great Resignation in India is also called the Great Reshuffle, as many working professionals explore career shifts rather than dropping out of the workforce.
After going through two major COVID-19 waves, the Indian job market is finally seeing some stability, but the impact of the Great Resignation is still visible.
A report by Michael Page India suggests that 86% of Indian Employees May Resign In the next 6 months, while 61% of Employees are Willing To Accept Salary Cuts For Work From Home.
Another significant change caused by the Great Resignation is the shift in job seekers' priorities.
Previously, a competitive salary was a good motivator for people seeking a job change. However, this has changed during the pandemic as people prioritize well-being and work-life balance.
The demand for work-from-home opportunities remains at an all-time high as Indian professionals seek work-life balance over attractive salaries.
Job seekers in post-pandemic India are seeking opportunities with companies that offer flexible work schedules, learning, and upskilling opportunities, job security, work-life balance, and career growth with the salary they deserve.
What are the reasons behind the Great Resignation in India?
The trend of the Great Resignation was first witnessed in early 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally.
Lack of hiring opportunities, furloughs, layoffs, and reduced salaries led to people quitting their jobs and finding alternative income opportunities to earn a living.
This led to the realization that it is better to chase opportunities and careers where people are in control of their situation. The fear of being hopelessly unemployed again is one of the reasons behind the Great Resignation.
Other reasons that led to the Great Resignation are:
- Work-related stress like job burnout
- The desire for a more stable income source
- Lack of learning and development opportunities
- Increase in demand for flexible, freelance, and work-from-home jobs
- Work-life balance over competitive salary
- Toxic work culture
- Need to control work dynamics (Employees want more control over their work dynamics)
Should you join the Great Resignation too?
The idea of joining the Great Resignation bandwagon might sound very appealing, but is it a good idea to quit your job straight away?
Despite the Great Resignation, finding a job that suits your requirements is a time-consuming process.
Even if you do not plan on finding a new job, it is crucial to know whether you can survive quitting your job. So, before you hand in your resignation, these are some things you must consider:
- Do you have a full-proof backup plan to support you during unemployment?
- Is there enough money in your safety net to support your expenses during this time?
- Have you found a good opportunity worth quitting your job for?
- Do you have the required skills for the role you are seeking? (If not, take some time to upskill and develop the required skill set)
- Are you ready to go through the tiresome process of job hunting?
- In case you are planning on a career switch, do you have the relevant hard and soft skills?
- Have you updated your resume and social media profiles?
What does the Great Resignation mean for JobSeekers?
The Great resignation has created a job seekers’ market. Earlier, the supply of talent and resources was often more than the demand, especially in countries like India, where the resources are almost unlimited, but job opportunities are scarce.
But with the advent of the Great Resignation, many people have left their positions in the workforce, making it a job seekers' market and giving them the freedom to choose the companies they want to work with, and not the other way around.
The Great Resignation has also influenced companies to promote the concept of remote jobs to make things easy for their employees.
This makes hiring across countries easy and brings the chance of working for foreign companies to people, opening up a plethora of opportunities for job seekers.
Also, there is a sense of control among job seekers. People who were comfortable working for 10+hours a day for a minimal salary are now reconsidering this.
With a shift in priority, more people now look for work-life balance, competitive salaries, and job satisfaction. And the job seekers find it easy to find these aspects in their new jobs as they have the power to negotiate.
Another reason why the post-pandemic job market belongs to the jobseeker is that people are now choosing to have a more flexible lifestyle.
With work-from-home, hybrid, and remote job options, employees can decide what type of job role they want to take up and how flexible they want their job to be.
The massive disruption in the job market has led to a massive shift in the balance between employers and employees.
With job seekers looking at opportunities outside of their field and job market altogether, organizations must rethink what they are willing to offer to their employees to retain them.
But one thing is for sure- the job seekers are now well aware of their priorities and are willing to risk it all to find an employment opportunity that is worth the effort.