New Year’s Resolution: I Quit!

Employers watch out: Your workers can’t wait to quit.

According to a recent survey by job-placement firm Manpower, 84% of employees plan to look for a new position in 2011. That’s up from just 60% last year.

Most employees have sat tight through the recession, not even considering other jobs because so few firms were hiring. For the past few years, the Labor Department’s quits rate, which serves as a barometer of workers’ ability to change jobs, has hovered near an all-time low.

But after years of increased work and frozen compensation, “a lot of people will be looking because they’re disappointed with their current jobs,” said Paul Bernard, a veteran executive coach and career management advisor who runs his own firm.

Douglas Matthews, president and chief operating officer for Right Management, a division of Manpower, called the results “a wake-up call to management. … This finding is more about employee dissatisfaction and discontent than projected turnover,” he said.

Despite a disappointing jobs report [in November], experts agree that the employment picture will likely improve going forward, although hiring will be slow.

“A lot of people who have jobs are considering looking for new work this year,” said Charles Purdy, a career expert at Monster+HotJobs. “I don’t know if we’re going to see a huge uptick in the number of jobs, but I do think we’ll see a huge surge in the number of people looking for work, even among people who are already employed.”

Austin and Lauren will be two of them. (Both asked that their last names not be used.)

Austin has worked as the general manager for a small manufacturing company for six years, but he has his sights set on a job with the federal government.

“I am definitely ready to make a move now,” he said. “I want to change because I feel that I would be more successful and have more challenges working in a Federal agency representing the interests of multiple private small businesses.”

Austin has applied to positions at the Department of Commerce, Homeland Security and the State Department. But until hiring picks up, he is maintaining his current employment while campaigning for his next career in the New Year, or what he calls “maintaining and campaigning.”

Lauren wants to leave the marketing position she landed soon after graduating in May. She said she feels lucky to have any job at all, “but it’s definitely not what I expected.”

“I’m currently in an environment where I’m not learning anything and am not challenged by any of my work,” she said. “It just makes me feel like I’m wasting my time.”

Even with less than a year of experience under her belt, Lauren plans to look for another opportunity in 2011. “What I’m hoping with the new year is that since most companies do their budgets around this time, they’ll have room for new employees,” she said.

But Bernard warns that they shouldn’t leave their day jobs too soon. “People need to have realistic expectations,” he cautioned. “It could still take 10 months to find a job.”

This article is courtesy of Alter Group blog.

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14 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution: I Quit!

  • So many people are always looking for greener grasses. Sure, many say they plan to look for something else, but in reality either won’t bother or won’t succeed.

    Not that there aren’t jobs out there to be had, but unemployment rates remain pretty high, so 2011 probably isn’t really a year where employees will be calling the shots and making demands due to abundance of opportunities.

    84% is such a high number. I never would have guessed that. The days of employee loyalty seem to be gone.

  • It’s good to stay put until you have a back-up plan (either a business with clients or a solidified job offer). Going out there just hoping for the best could be a harsh reality.

  • I’m actually very happy with my job right now. However, if I get picked to be on The Glee Project (tryouts tomorrow!) then I’ll say “Seeya!”

    (actually probably more like, “I’m going to take all my vacation time during the filming of this show. Please have me back when I don’t win”)

    • No, what you say is, WHEN you get picked. You have to put that mental picture out there. And then worry about vacation time.

  • I totally agree with this article. A lot of people I know stay put because of the hiring freeze. Work is getting a little ridiculous, they have cut a lot of people, but work stays the same. So employees do work of 3-4 people but salary has not increased… But just quiting won’t work (according to me), have a back-up plan and a back-up for that back-up plan and then quit 🙂

  • Hi Sandy, I was kind of surprised that number was so high, but I see the reasons for it. All the people I know working corporate jobs have seen their wages frozen, benefits cut, and responsibilities increased. A certain company I know has HR harassing all the well-paid managers hoping that some will quit.

    In my experience, employee loyalty is punished with low wages, while the people who are willing to move to a new company get their needs met. I wouldn’t necessarily quit in this economy without another job, but I would sure be networking and interviewing!

  • Hi Sandy, I was kind of surprised that number was so high, but I see the reasons for it. All the people I know working corporate jobs have seen their wages frozen, benefits cut, and responsibilities increased. A certain company I know has HR harassing all the well-paid managers hoping that some will quit.

    In my experience, employee loyalty is punished with low wages, while the people who are willing to move to a new company get their needs met. I wouldn’t necessarily quit in this economy without another job, but I would sure be networking and interviewing!

  • This describes me perfectly! I entered a job soon after graduation and no longer feel challenged at all! If I received an offer from somewhere else, I don’t think I would hesitate for one minute.

  • Most people will switch or leave because they do not feel appreciated. Find the other position first and then leave. Employee loyalty went away when employers are not loyal to their employees.

  • Most people will switch or leave because they do not feel appreciated. Find the other position first and then leave. Employee loyalty went away when employers are not loyal to their employees.

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