Photo: fromkey via flickr
One piece of career advice has been ingrained in all of us: never quit a job without another opportunity lined up. It is much harder to get a new job when you don’t already have one.In the crummiest economy ever, this advice is losing its luster. More and more people seem to be saying, “To hell with work. To hell with being unhappy. I’ll quit and find something I like better.”
Business Insider created a survey to see if this was a real trend — and it is.
- 93% quit jobs in the past two years* Note: we asked for people who had quit their jobs recently to fill out the survey, this stat/question is meant as an intro, not an overall finding
- 57% quit jobs in the past two years without another opportunity lined up
- It’s not just young people who are doing this: 54% of people ages 25-34 quit without another opportunity versus 55% of people ages 35-49.
- 63% are serial quitters, having quit two or more jobs throughout their careers
Why people are quitting is the most surprising finding of all: it’s because they’re not happy and simply do not like their jobs (65%).
Other driving forces: needing a change (63%), being bored/not challenged (55%) and disliking bosses (41%).
This begs the question, what are “quitters” living off of? Most mentioned their savings account (72%).
When you’re young, you don’t have many financial obligations; this could be why more Gen Yers are able to quit when they’re unhappy. Most people surveyed were between the ages of 25 and 49 (82%).
If you’re one of the many people who are unwillingly unemployed, this article is probably making you seethe. So many people are losing or unable to find jobs; how can people who are employed think they’re anything but lucky? Is it a lack of maturity in younger professionals, or is the pursuit of happiness a new, permanent, trend?
Tom Sicola, a pastor at Our Lady Of The Mount in Warren, New Jersey started a program, neighbour To neighbour, that has helped hundreds of unemployed people find jobs. Having seen how bad the economy is first hand, Sicola can’t believe people would rather quit than suck it up at a sub-par job.
“In all honesty, I have not heard of that happening and it floors me” he says. “I think that’s nuts myself. It’s easier to find a job if you already have a job.”
“I think most people at this point are very happy to be employed, although there are plenty of people who are playing the system,” he says.
Sicola says of his program, “I thought I would do this for a year and then it would go away — but it hasn’t done anything like go away. It’s only grown. There was a time when people were embarrassed to be out of work, but it’s not a stigma anymore because there are so many people in the same position.”
While the unemployment number is growing, there is also a growing number of people who don’t see their joblessness as a bad thing. They are the people who made a conscious decision to quit and are unemployed because they want to be.
People spend years of their lives at work to improve their well-being. How that well-being is defined seems to be shifting. After all, money doesn’t buy happiness.
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