HomeNewsOver 70% of Workers Regret Quitting Jobs During the ‘Great Resignation’

Over 70% of Workers Regret Quitting Jobs During the ‘Great Resignation’

by TK Sanders
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

According to a new survey, more than half of all young U.S. workers who changed jobs during the “Great Resignation” now admit they regret the change. About 72 percent of respondents said they regret quitting and feel a sense of buyer’s remorse; or that their new gig did not offer the working environment they had hoped during the interview process. All participants of the study — around 2,500 people, total — fall into either the millennial or Gen Z age range.

At a glance

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive unemployment due to both layoffs and resignations
  • Employers began jockeying for access to the newly mobilized, virtual working class
  • As a result, a new work culture exists where eight out of ten young employees feel empowered to quit their jobs after six months if they do not see it as a fit

Kathryn Minshew, CEO of survey company The Muse, called the new trend “shift shock.”

“They’ll join a new company thinking it’s their dream job and then there’s a reality check,” she said. “Though it’s hard to assess the culture of a new company through Zoom.”

Minshew noted that many different types of factors are at play when changing positions, and that the onus of responsibility falls somewhere between job seeker and recruiter.

“In some cases, job seekers don’t ask the right questions during an interview process,” she said. “Other times, it’s because a recruiter misrepresented the role or was overly optimistic about the company in an effort to get them to join.”

Look for the job market to stay volatile under these conditions

But since so many of these transitions happened during the pandemic, many job seekers could not adequately appraise the pros and cons of their new roles. Now that many companies want employees physically back in the office, those same job changers from the “Great Resignation” are realizing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

“It’s this really damaging phenomenon where people are brand new in our role, and they suddenly realize it’s not at all as advertised,” Minshew said. Most interestingly, though, is that the new generation of workers feel empowered to move quickly from job to job when the fit doesn’t feel right. Minshew said many young employees will simply quit their new job, just like they quit their old job, and continue to jump lillypads.

“It used to be that if you started a new job and didn’t like it, you needed to stay for one or two years to avoid a black mark on your resume,” she said. “But we’ve seen this really interesting shift in perceptions.” 

According to The Muse’s research, a staggering 80 percent of “Great Resignation” survey respondents said it is okay to leave a job after six months. About 20 percent said they would leave after one month if they didn’t like it.

Minshew said the change in attitude could fuel another “Great Resignation” if communication doesn’t improve between job seekers and employers in this hot job market.

“People are much more likely to accept the good and the bad and to show up as engaged and productive if they have entered the situation with their eyes wide open,” she said.