- 41% of employed respondents are considering leaving their job within the next six months.
- More than half of employed respondents who are thinking about leaving their jobs in the next six months are financially prepared to do so — 28% are not.
- 34% of employed respondents say they’d accept a job that pays less than they’re currently making if it allowed for a more flexible work schedule.
After more than a year of shutdowns, the simple act of commuting to and from work everyday has become a daunting, undesirable task for many. Beyond that, the emotional drain and feelings of burnout associated with working throughout the pandemic has led millions of Americans to reconsider their careers.
According to a study conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Credit Karma, half of American workers say the COVID-19 pandemic made them reevaluate their job or career. This reevaluation has led to a mass exodus from the workforce. In April alone, a record 4 million people quit their jobs, according to the Labor Department. Dubbed the Great Resignation, American workers are now prioritizing jobs that pay more, offer greater flexibility and add to their overall happiness.
The question is, can consumers afford to job hunt, and to what lengths are they willing to go, financially, to find the right gig?
According to the study, 38% of American workers are currently seeking employment elsewhere and 41% say they are considering leaving their current job within the next six months. This was especially common among Gen Z, half of which are currently seeking employment, compared to 39% of millennials and 25% of respondents who identified as Gen X or older.
Among those who are currently employed and considering leaving their jobs in the next six months, 35% say they want to pursue a job that pays more, while nearly 20% want to find a workplace that offers more work-life balance. Here’s a look at other reasons employees are looking to jump ship in the coming months:
|Which best describes why you are considering leaving your job in the next 6 months|
|I want to pursue a job that pays me more money||35%|
|I am unhappy in my role||21%|
|I want to find a workplace with more work-life balance||19%|
|I need to find a job that offers more/better benefits (e.g., healthcare, 401K match)||18%|
|I want to pursue a new field / area of interest||17%|
|I feel burnt out from working during the pandemic||16%|
|I do not feel appreciated by my employer||16%|
|I want to find a workplace that offers a more flexible work schedule||14%|
|I am unhappy with my boss||13%|
|I want to pursue higher education (e.g., Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree, etc)||13%|
|There aren’t enough available hours for me to resume work at my current job||11%|
|I am bored at work and wanted to see what else was out there||11%|
|I want to take time off to travel||9%|
|The fear the company I work for will shut down||7%|
|* Among respondents who are currently employed + considering leaving their job in the next 6 months|
Paycheck-to-nocheck. Can Americans afford to job search?
52% of respondents who are currently employed and considering leaving their job in the next six months, say they’re financially prepared to do so, while 28% are not.
The top reasons employed respondents feel financially prepared to leave their jobs in the next six months varies. The majority (52%) say they have enough money saved to cover living expenses for 2-3 months. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (24%) feel financially prepared because they’re currently receiving some form of government assistance, such as stimulus payments, and 16% feel comfortable taking on debt to make ends meet.
Of those who don’t feel financially prepared to leave their job in the next six months, 57% anticipate taking on debt while they look for another opportunity.
Despite the potential financial downsides of being jobless, one third of employed respondents say they would be willing to leave their current job without having another opportunity lined up.
Work-life balance is prioritized over money.
Employees have a new set of priorities when it comes to the job hunt. Instead of endless snacks and free food, common amongst many tech startups, employees are prioritizing benefits like flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely. These factors are so important to employees, some are even willing to take a paycut to ensure they’re included in their next benefits package. In fact, 34% of employed respondents say they’d accept a job that pays less than they’re currently making if it allowed for a more flexible work schedule and 32% say they’d accept a lower paying job if it allowed remote working.
Here’s a look at the benefits that will matter the most to future jobseekers:
|What benefits will matter most the next time you are seeking a job opportunity?|
|Work-life balance (PTO, flexible work schedule)||56%|
|Ability to work hybrid / remote||30%|
|Closer commute to work||30%|
|Prioritization of mental health||26%|
|Stock options / equity in the company||16%|
|* Among respondents who are currently employed|
Money talks, cash is still the leading driver behind return to work.
31% of respondents who were required to work remotely at some point during the pandemic have not yet returned to work. Among those, more than half say an increased annual salary would motivate them to return to work and 48% say increased hourly wage would motivate them.
“The pandemic served as a wakeup call for many American workers,” said Colleen McCreary, financial advocate at Credit Karma. “The last year and half has given many of us the chance to reflect on how we spent our time prior to the pandemic and how we wish to spend our time when the world eventually returns to normal. A large part of that involves our relationship to work, given we spend roughly a third of our lives working. Like anything else, it will be important for employees and future job seekers to define their must haves and nice to haves when it comes to their employment benefits. Beyond that, if you’re willing to take a pay cut or end employment before having another opportunity lined up, make sure you have a financial plan in place. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation that could set you back financially.”
On behalf of Credit Karma, Qualtrics conducted a nationally representative online survey in July 2021 of 1,512 Americans, aged 18 and above, to understand the financial impacts of the “Great Resignation”, an era where many people are reevaluating their careers and redefining their priorities at work and in their personal lives.