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Do You Regret Quitting Your Job During the Great Resignation?

We’ve written about the Great Resignation ad nauseam over the past two years, but one topic we really haven’t talked about is Great Resignation regrets, or the Great Regret. The grass hasn’t been greener for many people who quit their jobs recently, like this senior associate:

There’s actually quite a few people in similar situations. The job-search portal Joblist surveyed 628 of the 47.4 million Americans who voluntarily quit their jobs last year, and of those 628 people, 26% say they regret doing so. Of those who found a new job after quitting, 42% say it hasn’t lived up to their expectations.

OP continued on about their situation, which clearly didn’t live up to their expectations:

“New job was not what I hoped for” is among the six biggest regrets employees had about quitting their jobs, with 17% of survey respondents citing that reason. The six are:

  • I quit without a new job lined up and it’s been harder to find one than expected: 40%
  • I miss the people at my old company: 22%
  • New job was not what I hoped for: 17%
  • Old job was better than I realized: 16%
  • Bad culture or management at new job: 9%
  • Higher pay at new job was not worth it: 3%

If a person’s new job does not meet their expectations, the survey found that they won’t stay there for long:

In fact, 16% say they will stay less than three months when a job does not live up to expectations, 34% will stay less than six months, and 48% will stay less than a year.

Interestingly, our survey finds that younger workers are much more likely to leave an underwhelming job quickly than older workers. For example, 47% of people in their twenties and 40% of workers in their thirties say that they will leave a job in less than six months if it doesn’t live up to their expectations. By contrast, less than 25% of workers who are over 40 will leave in less than six months. Although quitting is common across all age groups, older workers are much more likely to endure a longer tenure at a disappointing new job.

When asked if they would consider boomeranging back to their previous employer, respondents were split. The majority (59%) said “no,” while 17% said “yes” and 24% were “maybe” open to it, according to Joblist.

Do you find yourself stuck in your current role like OP and have regrets—for one of the reasons above or for a different reason? Or do you have no regrets about going to a new job in industry, or in government, or at a new firm during the Great Resignation? Has the move been better for you professionally, monetarily, and/or for your mental health?

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1 Comment

  1. No, I also only know one person who boomranged, most people who doesn’t like their new job simply find a new one. But most people I know are overwhelmingly happy with their new job, I used to work for a top 10, so let’s just say the bar my new firm has to jump over is low

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