In the last two years Australian workplaces have undergone a major shake-up COVID sparked for great resignation we spoke about it a lot where one in five Aussies just quit their jobs
But it seems the movement wasn’t quite as great as we first thought with new research revealing 80 of those who gave up their employment now regret the decision for more we’re joined by career expert Sue Ellson in Melbourne so good morning to you I mean it feels like yesterday we were talking about the great resignation and how exciting that was for so many people out there but it’s caused a big back flip hasn’t it
It has and it seems to be because of the looming recession so some recent research by Elmo software shows that out of a thousand Australians 70 are not changing their jobs anytime soon and 34 are concerned about the looming recession now this is similar to what happened during the global financial crisis when the number of people changing jobs dropped three percent the good news is that some people during this time have been able to negotiate better pay and conditions and interestingly some data from the US you is showing that some people are actually being rehired back into their old job particularly generation Zed who actually missed working with their colleagues
All right so was there any industries that suffered the most from the great resignation?
Well the job vacancy data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows transport construction and accommodation and Food Services where most of the vacancies were but that could have also been due to a change in demand due to the pandemic so most of the stories that I’ve heard are from people who are completely burnt out in the areas of health and education so it’s probably across the board in lots of Industries
Yeah that’s alarming for all of us isn’t it we know unemployment rates are rising it’s up to 3.7 percent now so for those who are looking for work where are the jobs
Well the job vacancy data from the Australian Bureau statistics suggests it’s in the areas of healthcare and social assistance in accommodation and food services and in retail trade now that’s all good if you’ve got the skills for those areas if you don’t have those skills you may be better off focusing on improving your job search skills so you can get work hopefully close to home but that is aligned and that pays well enough to cope with the cost of living
So what’s your advice then for people who have the best to have to have the best chance of new employment?
Yes so reflect sorry um record your skills and achievements that you’ve actually got on your LinkedIn profile and on your resume reflect on your career and life goals because they’re going to be very important at this time in determining the focus of the direction you want to take next and then respond so that you can actually improve your job search skills there’s actually plenty of help around and available for you to actually go in that part now if you also are thinking about uh yeah sorry I’ll get you go next
No that’s all good go finish up that’s all great yeah
I was also going to say that if you’re thinking about changing your job then obviously you do those same skills again where you record things but this time you record your results and the values you bring to your employer you can also present evidence of what you’ve done and think about ways to present that that’s going to work really well and getting your message across and then respond through negotiation and make sure that you can really get something in writing and nail that that opportunity to
Absolutely I mean look I mean a lot of people are feeling that cost of living pressures and they want to get back into employment that’s some good advice there Sue we appreciate your time thanks Sue see you soon
What exactly has caused the resignation backflip?
The looming recession! A recent survey of 1,000 Australians by ELMO software suggests that 70% plan to stay with their current employers this year, with 34% concerned about the looming recession but I would also like to suggest that we are following a similar trend from the Global Financial Crisis. Back then, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the number of people changing jobs per year dropped from 11.5% in 2008 to 8.5% by 2010.
The good news is that after the hustle and burnout culture from 2019, many people have negotiated better pay and conditions as a result of the great resignation and a lot more people are becoming more mindful about their choices now on what to do next.
Interestingly, research in the US suggests that some people are actually being rehired, Gen Z in particular as they have missed being around their work colleagues.
Were there any industries that suffered the most from the Great Resignation?
If we look at it in terms of the increase in the number of job vacancies as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the most significant rises in job vacancies from November 2020 to May 2021 during the Great Resignation occurred in Transport, Construction and Accommodation and Food Services, but this could also be associated with the increase in demand for some of these roles and the reduction in demand for others.
I would say that it is hard to predict precisely by job vacancy statistics, but I have mostly heard great resignation stories from people who have been working from home or on a hybrid basis but also those who were completely overwhelmed during the pandemic in education and health.
Unemployment rates have risen to 3 point 7 per cent in January. So for those looking for work now, where are the jobs?
The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in November 2022 shows that the highest number of vacancies are in health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services and retail trade.
Naturally, not everyone will want to move into these types or roles or will be able to if specialist training is needed. Having good job search skills is vital if you want to look for a role with a higher pay in your current industry to help adjust to the increasing cost of living. I also understand that for many people, right now it is a case of just surviving day by day.
What’s your advice for people to have the best chance at new employment right now?
My favourite tips include
Record – skills and achievements on resume and LinkedIn Profile
Reflect – career and life goals and any additional training or advice
Respond – complete micro credentials, improve job search skills
The reality is that finding a job is a different skill set to doing a job. It is important to focus on ways forward from today, not wait until a crisis occurs and you are desperate. I hope I can encourage anyone you know to reach out for help before they really need it as a variety of free job search and financial help is available.
How do we best negotiate a pay rise from our career move?
Now could be a very good time to negotiate a pay rise as organisations with more than 100 employees need to report on average earnings for men and women so this can be a great conversation starter, particularly if it has been a while since you last discussed it.
Record – your results and value
Reflect – how to present with facts (see myfuture.edu.au)
Respond – negotiate and confirm in writing
Understand that there are also a variety of benefits associated with working close to home, having a uniform, flexible work arrangements etc – and if you are in work that is 80% values aligned for your current personal context, you are doing really well.
Sometimes we just need a bit of courage to take the first step.
Links, References and Statistics
Great Resignation started early 2021 when the unemployment rate in Australia was 6.3% and it dropped as low as 3.4% in October 2022 but is now 3.7% slightly up from December.
The great resignation prompted a lot of people to re-evaluate all aspects of their job – the pay, benefits, career advancement, inflexible remote work etc
Several people have now forecast a looming recession, which has made people nervous.
We tend to follow the US and in 2019, around 3.5 million quit their job every month but by November 2021 it had jumped to 4.5 million per month.
A recent 2023 Paychex survey of 825 people said that 80% of the respondents regret it…
ABS Job Vacancies November 2020 and May 2021
Transport, postal and warehousing 4.3% – 22.0% +17.7%
Construction 13.0% – 26.9% Change +13.9%
Accommodation and Food Services 16.9% – 30.5% +13.6%
ABS Current Vacancies November 2022 (‘000s)
62.7 Health care and social assistance
56.3 Accommodation and food services
49.9 Retail trade
41.3 Administrative and support services
40.8 Professional, scientific and technical services
30.1 Public administration and safety
Employee Regret After the Great Resignation 16 January 2023
https://www.yourcareer.gov.au/support/work-support – check state government websites like https://jobs.vic.gov.au/help-for-jobseekers/personalised-support/jobs-victoria-career-counsellors
https://www.fairwork.gov.au/find-help-for/young-workers-and-students and check state government websites like https://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/jobs-and-careers
Resignation Regret – other articles published
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8DgXwgAezQ (On The Today Show Channel)