Over half of Americans have a resignation letter drafted and saved for when they hit their breaking point at work, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 employed Americans found 59% have contemplated quitting their jobs enough to have a letter of resignation written but haven’t followed through with sending it.
One in three respondents (34%) reported quitting their jobs within the past two years, joining a growing list of Americans who’ve participated in “The Great Resignation” – a period seeing a record number of workers leaving their jobs.
Nearly half of those who resigned were Gen-Z (47%) — a stark contrast to 13% of baby boomers who left their jobs.
The data suggests the industries that saw the most employees quit during the pandemic were healthcare (48%), real estate (46%) and hospitality (39%).
Over half (55%) of those who recently quit a job said it was the “best decision” they made in a long time, with 45% leaving for professional reasons and 29% quitting for personal reasons.
Commissioned by Wisetail and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed six in 10 millennials and Gen X (59%) especially believe leaving their jobs was the best decision they’ve made.
The most common reasons for quitting included finding a different job that offers better pay (57%), better work/life balance (55%) and better working conditions (54%).
Nearly nine in 10 (88%) of respondents who quit their job said they would have stayed if they were offered better benefits, such as having more opportunities for growth (52%), better working conditions (52%) and having internal career development (49%).
Close to two-thirds of respondents (63%) would rather work in a new job than try to get a better position with their current employers.
This was especially true for younger Americans — 69% of millennials and 64% of Gen Z.
And most Americans blamed COVID-19 for quitting their jobs — since 66% believe the pandemic has directly affected what they do for work today. Nearly as many people (65%) have switched to different careers since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Those respondents who recently quit their jobs said they notified their employers five weeks in advance that they were resigning.
With so many American’s quitting in the “The Great Resignation,” 67% believe that trend will affect how they seek work post-pandemic.
“We’re seeing a massive shift in priorities,” said Ali Knapp, president at Wisetail. “Potential employees are being more vocal about what they want out of a job — whether that means having more mental health days, better pay, or intangible benefits.”
For the respondents who remain in their jobs, 63% believe they would make better bosses than their current boss. Half of the part-time respondents (49%) and 41% of people over 56 feel strongly about this point: they believe they’re better leaders than their actual bosses.
Almost as many (61%) wish they had more responsibilities at work than they currently do, and 57% feel the need to go job hunting because their bosses aren’t offering what they need.
Six in 10 (61%) would even take an average 14% pay cut if it meant working in a better environment. And whether they're searching for work, three in four people believe their ideal job would be with a company that aligns with their personal values.
“Ultimately, people want to be heard. When people feel like their needs aren’t being addressed or met, they’re more likely to look elsewhere, where their needs can be met. Once they find a company where their values align, people will find themselves feeling happy with what they do,” said Knapp.
WHAT WOULD HAVE KEPT PEOPLE FROM QUITTING THEIR JOBS?
More opportunities for growth - 52%
Offering better working conditions - 52%
Offering internal career development/growth opportunities - 49%
Offering better pay - 46%
Being treated as valued - 46%
Offering better work/life balance - 45%
Offering a 401k - 44%
Having a better office culture - 37%
Offering remote working options - 28%
Offering tuition reimbursement - 21%