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The Great Resignation: What is it and how job seekers in Australia can take advantage of this

What is the great resignation?

Great resignation is an idea proposed by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University that predicts a large number of people leaving their jobs after the COVID pandemic ends and life returns to “normal.” So basically it’s a trend when a lot of people leave their jobs at the same time. 

PwC’s recent What workers want report, is tied in with a global trend known as The Great Resignation. In Australia, we’re expecting it to loom large in 2022.

Of the 1800 Australian workers surveyed for the report, 38 percent of job seekers said they are looking for a new job: a stark contrast with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing that just 7.5 percent of Australian workers changed jobs in the year to February 2021. 

Industries affected: 

The Harvard Business Review survey also found resignations highest in the tech and healthcare industries. Resignations in tech increased by 4.5%, and 3.6% more healthcare employees quit their jobs than in the previous year. These fields had experienced extreme increases in pandemic-driven demand, subsequently leading to increases in workloads and burnout.

Research by PwC and Deloitte revealed ‘restlessness’ and a demand for flexible working arrangements causing employees to seek out new positions, and projecting 40% of workers planning to change jobs in the next 12 months.

A survey of 25 countries by HR technology company The Adecco Group found Australian workers to be the most burnt out in the world, with around 50% having had to take leave for their mental health. Employers are facing an uphill battle to retain their people because of these figures. Concurrently, resignation rates are highest among mid-career employees.

Future of hiring

Employers need to look at skills-based hiring instead of title-based hiring. Think about soft skills that are actually transferable across many different industries.

Titles and skills hiring

We have found a career explorer tool by LinkedIn that illustrates an example of how 

Food Server has time management that can be transferable Operations Manager

Think about the skills that are transferable from one job to another and it is important to know that job seekers should focus on their skills.


What other benefits could job seekers look for in this market?

Take advantage of the “New Normal” – According to the study by EY Nine in ten respondents want flexibility in where and when they work, with millennials twice as likely to quit as baby boomers. 

On average, employees would want to work between two and three days remotely after the pandemic. When pandemic restrictions ease in their countries, 22% would prefer to work full time in the office, with 33% of employee respondents saying they want a shorter working week altogether. 

More than half (67%) believe their productivity can be accurately measured irrespective of location. (EY, 2021) 

So what does it all mean? Assess your current work situation, and negotiate for flexibility instead of resigning immediately

According to the Resetting Normal: Defining the new era of work 2021, Adecco Group 80% Value Good Salary and Work-life balance. Use adzuna’s value my cv tool to accurately get a market evaluation of your CV.

Look at the strengths you might have in other fields and you may want to consider a career change.


Challenges for job seekers

Employers may still be stuck in their old practices of hiring. Employers must be adapting to the current conditions and look at revamping policies that put people first. Note that I chose the word people instead of worker/employee


Tips on how you can take advantage of the great resignation

Negotiation – How to start a negotiation? Try and bring in some data and see how you can prove your productivity when you are working from home.

Complete our Worksheet, essentially a SWOT analysis of yourself so you can better answer interview questions.

Know yourself better by doing Personality tests and see what type of roles suits your career. After you have figure all these out, you can then find a better job on