Ep 31: Is the Great Resignation Real? w/Bryan Woodward
Have you heard about The Great Resignation? Are you feeling its effects? The Bureau of Labor statistics reports that as of November 2021 some 4.5 million Americans had quit their jobs – a trend that doesn’t seem to be letting up. It could be attributable to a number of things, but the consensus is that pandemic is the spark that ignited a lot of long-simmering kindling. This episode of “The Wilson Wealth Show” breaks down the factors driving people to reconsider their jobs – or whether they should be working at all.
Co-hosts Maurice, Ciera and Ablavi welcome Bryan Woodward, who provides his take on the role technology has played in reshaping today’s economy and workplace.
Together they are sharing their observations about everything from the staffing shortages we’re all seeing at places like Starbucks to the ongoing housing market madness which – depending on whether you’re selling or buying – has made real estate either incredibly lucrative or completely out of reach. Other factors inspiring people to make a wholesale change? Burnout on the job is No. 1, according to research. Quitting is also more of an option both because jobs are plentiful, greener pastures abundant and for many the stock market has made their retirement nest egg fat enough to offer options.
Pandemic forced many Americans to take a breath and consider: Is this the life I want?
Current economic conditions are inspiring in many people a desire to freelance, start up a business or take some other kind of entrepreneurial plunge. Others are saying “See ya” to employers who aren’t willing to embrace remote work and flex-time. How long The Great Resignation continues and which demographics it ultimately will best serve remains to be seen, but all the co-hosts agree that there is a very intentional shift going on as people figure out what they can do to enjoy quality of life and a sense of satisfaction in addition to income. “For many people it’s a realization that they hate working the way they work,” says Maurice. “They want to do it on their own terms now – and they can!”
We hope you enjoy this episode and will continue to join us for more in the year ahead. Please click here to listen to previous shows recorded in 2021!
“The same way that it’s a seller’s market in real estate I think in the job market folks that are professionals, have a degree or a specialized expertise, are seeing their wages go up tremendously.” (Bryan)
“If you can go to another organization and get a 20% or 30% pay increase, how long would that take you in your current position? There’s a lot of people are trading up!” (Bryan)
“Americans’ approach to work is really intense and stressful. It’s a cultural thing and because of the pandemic … people had time to reflect on, ‘Is this what I want for the rest of my life?” (Ablavi)
“Because we don’t really study history … we don’t really understand work conditions. And U.S. businesses are task masters and will drive you into the ground if given a chance.” (Maurice)
“For many people it’s a realization that they hate working the way they work. They want to do it on their own terms now – and they can!” (Maurice)
“The country has proven that it can be just as – if not more – productive (to work) from home. So what sense would it make to do what we were doing five years ago? The organizations that don’t get that are going to be at a disadvantage in the job market.” (Ablavi)
“Diversity is on the rise … It’s good for business and good for our country overall. It’s just going to make us better and more innovative.” (Bryan)
“For entrepreneurs and new business owners coming on the scene there are a lot of tools and resources available now to support them.” (Bryan)
“If you aren’t making money, you’ve got to go back to work. No matter your plan. That’s critical in life, so it’s advantageous to plan.” (Ablavi)
“Everyone now has to adapt to this new normal and whoever does it the best is going to be rewarded. So overall, collectively, it’s a great thing.” (Bryan)
“With this turning point, inflection point, paradigm shift – whatever you want to call it – I’m optimistic that we can move the football forward and get to something that’s better for everybody involved.” (Maurice)
What We Covered:
00:00 – What exactly is The Great Resignation and is it real? The answer is: Yes!
01:20 – The panelists weigh in on the evidence they’ve seen of large numbers of workers quitting their jobs and likely drivers of the trend, including:
· A hyper sellers’ market among mid-range homes ($600k or less).
· Early retirements as a result of burnout – in part because the market has been so strong that some clients are making more money off their investments than their day jobs.
· Well-compensated people resigning to move to greener pastures.
· People who have accumulated nest eggs and/or are dual-earning are taking a break.
05:28 – Ciera shares recent research that indicates that burn-out is the No. 1 reason people are resigning, which mirrors an Indeed survey that found 27% of people struggle to unplug from work and 2/3s of professionals believe the pandemic has only intensified the problem.
07:04 – Ablavi recalls with fondness how appealing and evenly paced adulthood looked from her little girl’s vantage point years ago. Meanwhile, today’s workplace is hyper-stressful and loyalty is not repaid by employers, who take advantage of people to the point of burnout.
09:35 – Pandemic forced people to take a beat and consider a) Is this the life I want? and b) Now that we’ve seen that we can work from home, are there other opportunities out there?
11:00 – Maurice uses his own experience as a springboard to reflect on Corporate America and the pull to escape cubicles in favor of independent pursuits – which is more doable than ever in today’s remote and gig economy.
13:50 – Over the past two years corporations have been forced to experiment with remote technology and flexibility. Going into a physical office has drawbacks that employers are reconsidering in light of productivity, which has not dropped off during pandemic.
15:20 – The double-edged sword for workers: Data suggest that many people who work at home wind up blurring the lines and taking over personal space, mentally and physically.
17:50 – We’re not going backwards and the hosts agree remote options for workers are going to be standard going forward and those companies that don’t adopt at least a hybrid model will lose out in the job market. Valuing employees and providing flexibility are non-negotiable.
22:00 – Marcus offers some historical perspective, including the fact that Labor has often splintered as the result of those in power, who are skilled at locating potential divisions and exploiting them for their own purposes.
25:00 – Bryan shares data from a Salesforce.com study that suggest people – including those who have participated in The Great Resignation – are thinking creatively and innovating entrepreneurial ventures independently. Freelancing has seen a surge!
26:47 – The No. 2 reason people are quitting their jobs: They’ve had it with the lack of respect, inclusivity and equity. They are not only quitting but, in some cases, suing for discriminatory practices. It constitutes a major workplace culture shift.
29:27 – The hosts consider what the future might hold for entrepreneurs, who are bringing energy and opportunity to the economy. Technology has lowered the barrier of entry, but will these ventures be sustainable in the long term? At some point, it may not be as economically feasible to up and leave a job.
32:00 – Maurice weighs in on the DEI issue and demographic trends he sees in his own community and clientele. American corporate culture – and society at large – are being pushed to give up business as usual, a development he believes is here to stay.
34:25 – Where we are now: Is it progress? Is it positive?
· Ablavi believes it’s all good – so long as those who leave their jobs have a financial plan and a point of entry back into the workforce should that become necessary.
· Maurice sees a mixed picture. Making meaningful changes to workplace conditions is overdue, but he is concerned with how the economy and businesses will absorb service personnel shortages and the supply crunch.
· Bryan cites Covid19 as a historical watershed moment that has precipitated change. With it comes pluses and minuses, but he believes in the aggregate the system needed re-examination and reinvention.
38:38 – Ciera wraps up the episode with some optimistic observations about how the American workplace will eventually be remade in a better image. It’s just a matter of navigating the growing pains between here and there!
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