Great Resignation, Great Reshuffle, Great Redirection — or a Great Era for Entrepreneurship

I bet you a Paella you must have heard the “Great Resignation”. Sorry, scratch that, the “Great Reshuffle”, no, wait, the “Great Redirection”.

The term keeps evolving.

Have you seen it happening around you? Or thought about joining the club?

Remember, changing job from one to another is not the only option here.

What is it?

Let’s rewind time back a bit.

The Great Resignation, a term coined by Anthony C. Klotz, a workplace expert from Texas A&M University, United States, who attributed this phenomenon to events like the pandemic which makes people step back and rethink their lives.

The pandemic hit economy hard, and the job market even harder. Usually, during hard times, workers’ confidence of securing new offers weakens as hire rates decrease, hence resignation rates fall. But it doesn't seem to be the case this time.

Early 2021, it was observed that employees had voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse primarily in the United State. Since October 2021, still, in the States, more than four million worker have quit their job every month.

With the increased vaccination rate around the world and numbers of country easing restrictions away, we are seeing vitality of economies resuming gradually. However, the Great Resignation shows no sign of slowing. According to a Randstad survey, the Great Resignation may persist.

Why is it happening

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that reasons of people leaving their jobs in the U.S. in 2021 relate to unmet expectations of some working conditions, such as low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, felt disrespected at work, child care issues, etc.

Another cause has been acknowledged, even before the pandemic, is burn-out. According to a new study from Adobe, “Gen Z (57%) and millennials (54%) feel most pressured to be available at all times and are most likely to describe their job as repetitive (65% and 58%, respectively) and tiring (65% for both).”

It is not surprised to see that, like many people suffering from mental health issues brought by restrictions (lockdowns for example) imposed by authorities to crack the pandemic (how ironic), many workers, as well, have been experiencing complexity led by working-from-home, a relatively new working model. Some had to take quite a bit of time and energy to adapting the new pace. They end up of feeling have to be available at all times for work.

Work-life balance seems no longer achievable. They just burnt out.

Thus, many started self-reflection and asking questions like: what am I doing with this job? What’s the purpose of life?

It’s spreading out

With economies opening up, people are gaining more confidence of leaving their current job to pursue their realisation during the last 2 years.

The number of resignations during the third quarter of 2021 in France, was the highest on records dating back to 2007.

In the UK, a Labour Force Survey by the Office for National Statistics reveals there was indeed a great resignation in 2021.

A new research from National Australia Bank uncovers that One in five Aussies changed their jobs last year and a quarter are currently considering leaving their workplace.

Looking at the far east, a good guess that people are about to follow the trend does not seem that bold, given the situation now in Shanghai, China’s biggest city and beating heart of Asian economy.

Maybe not yet escalating to the scale like in the States, but certainly, workers around world have taken notice of this trend and are deciding if it is time to make the move.

The aftermath

Expectedly, job market is hot now.

Employers are taking measures to try to improve employee experiences, that’s for sure. Though retaining employees seems to becoming harder.

As employers are willing to invest on their people, startups aiming to tackle HR issues are booming:

  • There are some help improve employees’ welfare: Cleo, Gympass, Pyn, Cobee, etc

  • Some diversify hire solutions: Oyster, Deel, Iziwork, IMocha, etc

  • Some others provide quality coaching/training services: BetterUp.

Nevertheless, not everyone seeing “redirection” as changing the job. Instead, many have opted to invest on themselves — by starting their own business. (More interesting read on entrepreneurs started their business during the pandemic)

The rise of entrepreneurship

The world is empowered by a combination of dynamic economies, advanced technologies/tooling and rich knowledge, with the silver lining to getting out of the pandemic, we are nearing, more than ever, the rise of entrepreneurship.

According to the Census Bureau(U.S.), there was a surge in new business formation last year, with applications hitting a record 5.4 million. The latest data shows the number of application is still significantly higher than the years before the pandemic.

The signs of rise of entrepreneurship doesn’t stop here. Policy makers are seeing it and working on facilitation of this new trend.

Across the Atlantic, the European Union has taken actions to making the continent a better home for entrepreneurs/startups.

The Spanish government followed up quickly, as it aims to creating the best environment for startups in Europe.

Education systems across the world have been including entrepreneurial education into their curriculum. It is not just an exclusive resource for fancy business school attendees. The next generation is about to be better prepared with entrepreneurial mind and become job creators rather than job seekers.

In addition, development of technology incubated more and more digital solutions to enabling entrepreneurial activities. Starting a retail business does not require a physical space anymore, not even stock. Platforms like Shopify has eased barriers for entrepreneur newbies who are keen to start their ecommerce business, for example, facilitating a sales model named “dropshipping”.

Where are you heading to?

The world is heading to a new era after a chaotic, depressed and really really long time.

I’m sure, like many others, you have practiced self-reflection in your own way.

Just in case you are about to embrace the incoming great era for entrepreneurship but haven't figured where to start yet, try make a plan first.