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Carreer Junction by Michele Majul-IbarraThe Great Resignation is here. Now what?

by Michele Majul-Ibarra, BA, IPMA-ACP

Early in 2021, you might have heard the term “The Great Resignation.” The term originated from Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University who studied the exodus of hundreds of workers in the United States. He made a prediction that people will continue leaving their jobs at above-average rates for the next two to three years.

Although The Great Resignation has been happening in the United States at a greater intensity since 2021, employee retention also continued to challenge Canadian employers. According to a report released by Statistics Canada in March 2022, employers sought to fill 915,500 job vacancies in the last quarter of 2021, which is 80 per cent more than in 2019 and 63.4 per cent more than in 2020.

These numbers are definitely higher than pre-pandemic levels in Canada and they are very alarming for any organization. In a 2022 Microsoft Work Index study, it reported that globally, including Canada, 53 per cent of employees are more likely to prioritize their health and well being over work than prior to the pandemic. On the other hand, 52 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials are considering changing employers this year, which is up three percent year over year. Meanwhile, according to a 2022 Bank of Canada report, 19.3 per cent of respondents planned to leave their job over the following 12 months, while this number was only at 17.9 per cent in the quarter prior to the pandemic.

While the statistics are overwhelming, it is very clear that employees are putting their foot down to prioritize the things that are important to them, whether it’s their health, family, or they are simply re-evaluateing the way that they want to work or where they want to work.

With this type of trend, the employee’s market will continue to be strong, and experts expect it to continue for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. Who knows how long it will last, but there is certainly a lot of benefits to job seekers and anyone looking for a change in their current careers given the vast number of opportunities available in the market today.

So, now what? Well, if you are looking for a job or a career change, it is definitely a good time to take advantage of the market. Here are some basic tips to start with.

Put your best foot forward

Tailor your resume to match the requirements of the position that interests you. Highlight all your skills and achievements that are relevant to the role.

Emphasize on transferrable skills

For example, if you worked in customer service and are looking to switch to a different industry, you can focus on your knowledge and experience that would be applicable to the target role.

Stay in touch with your network

No matter the decision or the outcome of your job search, stay connected with the people that support you because you may need to tap into their knowledge someday or even ask them a favour to provide a good reference for you.

Whatever you do, give it a lot of thought, and take the time to weigh the pros and cons to make a well-informed decision.


Statistics Canada: Job vacancies, fourth quarter 2021

2022 Microsoft Annual Work Trend Index Report

This article is intended for information purposes only and not to be considered as professional advice.

Michele Majul-Ibarra, IPMA-ACP holds an Advanced Certified HR Professional Designation with the International Personnel Management Association.

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