Switched Jobs Recently? You Might Be Part Of 'The Great Regret'

Sometimes the grass ain't greener.
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Remember when everyone was quitting their jobs or switching jobs as a part of the ‘Great Resignation’, brought on by the aftereffects of the pandemic? Well, turns out, quite a lot of us regret doing so now.

According to a survey of 1000 workers in the UK conducted by Employment Hero, the huge wave of resignations sparked by the pandemic has reached its peak, as only 36% people want their new job to be in a different organisation or industry. Compare this to 2021, and the number was almost double (61%).

More employees now want their next role to be a promotion or a lateral move (39%), and over half are actively working towards that. Of those who said they wanted the above, 36% are actively taking on new responsibilities, while 20% are undertaking further training.

And among those who were a part of the Great Resignation or moved jobs in the last year, 29% seem to regret having done that as they are already looking for a replacement job.

Ben Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Employment Hero, says that due to the cost of living crisis and the mounting economic pressure, employees are now shifting focus from seeking fulfilment in their roles to job security.

“The pandemic upended everything about the workplace, and prompted many people to take a fresh look at whether their job was really fulfilling their needs. Many decided it wasn’t, leading to a wave of resignations in recent years,” explains Thompson.

“That large-scale ‘Great Resignation’ seems to have settled down, especially as economic pressures from the cost of living crisis have put job security front of mind for employees. Now more employees are looking for promotions at their current job than a fresh start. And those who do move are clear about what they want: More money,” he adds.

To put this into perspective, back in 2021, 23% of employees were happy to move roles for jobs that had similar pay to their current positions — now, only 12% would accept that. More than half of the employees also said that if another organisation offered them more money for the same position, they would take it.

However, just because resignation has slowed down, doesn’t mean it still won’t happen as economic uncertainty and job redundancies and layoffs can still cause people to resign.

According to the survey, the number one reason people cited for wanting to leave an organisation was recent redundancies or headcount reduction, with 42% of those who wanted to leave their organisation citing it as one of their top three reasons for wanting to quit, while 30% said their reason was a desire for a more “secure” role elsewhere.

With the cost of living crisis only getting worse, and redundancies and layoffs in every sector imaginable, people are starting to regret leaving their ‘secure’ roles in previous organisations. And seeing as many (50%) haven’t had a pay increase in the last 12 months, it’s not hard to understand why.

So how can an organisation ensure that their employees don’t take up jobs elsewhere? Thompson says career development is the key.

“Career development remains one of the best ways to retain talent. Make sure to encourage and support anyone on your team who is keen to take the next step – whether that be into management or just into a better role. If you don’t, they can always go elsewhere.”