the great resignation

How does the Great Resignation affect New Zealanders?

Near the end of 2021 we began to hear the term “The Great Resignation” floated in the media, when referring to the job climate. In particular predictions that although some countries have already seen an abundance of resignations in various roles 2022 would be the year of the great resign. With workers across the job resigning from their roles and seeking better lifestyle choices and work that suits them. 

In New Zealand we already know that there is an excess in specialised jobs, as there are less workers coming in from overseas to fill the roles needed. However as New Zealanders are we a part of the great resignation? And does it benefit us? Shopless looks into the great resignation. And how New Zealand is predicted to be affected by the great resignation in 2022. 

What is the Great Resignation?

2020 was a year of excessive job cutting and redundancies. As workplaces prepared for an economic crisis in the anticipation of COVID. Many travel companies were hit hard, and had to lay off staff. And other business ventures were impacted by the numerous lockdowns. 2021 caught the tail end of this panic, with an unexpectedness when it came to lockdowns and how businesses should operate. However New Zealand has now moved into the traffic light system, giving businesses more autonomy and catching up with other countries that are able to work or live more freely due to their own country’s COVID approach. 

Since mid 2021 in countries such as America, various media outlets have floated an employment prediction called “the great resignation”. The premise being that jobseekers have more power than ever to decide where they want to work. Therefore are able to quit their job to pursue a more fulfilling career. This has happened in part due to the lack of global movement. 

Where companies previously anticipated that they would need to cut staff due to a global recession. They now need to employ staff, as they do not have the freedom to employ people from overseas to fill the now empty positions. With more positions to fill employees have more choice, and current employees can be looking to develop their career quicker. With companies forced to evaluate how they retain talent. 

What Jobs are most Affected by the Great Resignation?

Auckland’s AUT university did a study on what to expect in New Zealand in anticipation of the predicted ‘great resignation’. The study interviewed over 1000 different NZ employees at 3 separate occasions between December 2020 and April 2021. Employees considering leaving their workplace increased by 34% of the participants interviewed, between the identified time frame. In 2020 only half the employees felt they had better job prospects available to them. Whereas at the end of the study in 2021 over 66% of employees felt they had better opportunities that they could go into. 

The study concluded that workers across a range of industries felt they had better job prospects elsewhere. With the top employees most likely to leave their role being – labour workers, health/support workers, sales, customer service and tourism. 

What should I know before quitting my job?

Most sources suggest that the great resignation is seen more as a “Great Reshuffle”. Indicating that a dramatic exit from your job would not be the way to go. Instead it is recommended to take time to think about where you want to be in your career, Focus on what your strengths are. And look both internally and externally for the role that you desire. 

An opinion article by Stuff suggested that for New Zealanders the great resignation should be about prioritising your health and wellbeing. Looking for roles that will offer a healthier lifestyle. With benefits such as health insurance, counselling and a healthy work life balance. What is most important is what you value, and how you want your future job to fit in with that. It is illogical to quit your job to find a new one, as a better job is not guaranteed. However you can apply for other positions while still employed and truly evaluate where you want to go in your career. 

What Workplaces are Benefiting from the Great Resignation? 

An article on NBC indicated that small businesses are benefiting the most from the Great Resignation. In America alone 5 million new businesses were created in 2021, a jump of 55% from 2019. The article suggested that the landscape of work was dramatically changed by COVID. But it allowed for startups and online businesses to culminate and thrive. Individuals are more confident that they can make money through their own means rather than relying on the corporate world. And individuals prefer working in a setting with less colleagues to develop better work relationships. 

In recent studies the conclusion is that the Great Resignation is a worldwide phenomenon. With New Zealanders hoping to jump on the bandwagon. If you are evaluating your job prospects. Looking for employment or looking for employees. Make sure to take a look at our job section on Shopless, here. So we can help you on that journey. 

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