This labor market unrest isn’t about bad employers. It’s about values. If you feel compelled to make a change, be sure your financial house is in order first.
Do you remember Peter Finch’s 1976 Oscar-winning role in the movie Network? In the film, Finch plays Howard Beale, an evening news broadcaster who finds out he’s going to be fired because his ratings are low. The next night he gets on the air and announces that he’s going to commit suicide in front of the camera the following week. His employer asks him to apologize on the air, which he does and then he proclaims that it’s all “BS.”
As his belligerence continues, his ratings increase exponentially, and the increased ratings land him his own show. During his show he starts a nationwide movement that begins when he says, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
The anger and frustration that propelled Howard Beale and his counterparts is spawning a movement in this country called “The Great Resignation.” By now, we’ve all heard about it. After a year of working from at home, thinking about life and deciding that life really is “too short,” millions of Americans have quit their jobs.
There’s no question that one of the most significant results of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the collective realization that we don’t have to put up with an unfulfilling job, an uncaring employer, a less than satisfactory place to live or an unsatisfying way of life.
For the first time in decades, the power in the workforce is shifting from employers to employees. Employees are demanding additional benefits like flexible on-site daycare, more flexible hours and remote work. If they’re not getting what they want, they’re looking for new opportunities.
A recent Gallup analysis reported that 48% of America’s working population is “actively job searching or watching for opportunities.”1 According to the Labor Department, 4.3 million U.S. workers quit their jobs in August, and between April and August, 20 million workers left their jobs.
This labor market unrest isn’t about bad employers. It’s about values.
We all know that values are fundamental beliefs that guide our decisions and motivations. They are as personal and as individual as we are. Our values are so ingrained in who we are that many of us never think about them, but they’re always with us. Values aren’t static—they change and evolve with our lives. It’s safe to say the global pandemic caused many of us to undergo a change in values and today, our values are more relevant than they’ve ever been.
It’s wonderful that so many Americans are listening to their convictions and feel empowered enough to leave their jobs. But, unlike Howard Beale’s approach, if you’re one of those who wants to make a change, create a plan and work with your financial advisor to ensure your “financial house” is in order.
While change may be just what you need, planning ahead will make the next stage in your life’s journey even more rewarding.
1The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Really the ‘Great Discontent’, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/351545/great-resignation-really-great-discontent.aspx