Work. At the moment, it’s an emotionally charged topic (to say the least). The Great Resignation is underway, with 7.5 million employees having called it quits in April and May, and another 3.9 million people quit in June. All while women’s participation in the workforce hit a 33-year all-time low in January — due, in large part, to school closures, the She-cession, and caregiving responsibilities. (And as of May, 1.8 million of the five million women who lost their jobs in 2020 have yet to return at all.)
Burnout, career stall, and return-to-office mandates seem to have many of us thinking about a pivot — or, in some cases, what would make us stay in a job, considering employees have serious leverage at the moment. (Free KIND bars aren’t going to do it anymore, lol.) A recent survey found that more than 68% of US workers are considering changing careers, and 19% more said they would think about it if it was an amazing opportunity.
These stats are impressive, but we wanted to know how you’re feeling about work right now. Not surprisingly, the Ellevest community chimed in with some really thoughtful — and at times, surprising — responses.* (Spoiler: Not everyone thrives in a WFH situation).
Here are some common themes and responses we heard from you, plus some recos on how Ellevest can help you negotiate for more, land that dream job, and get more money in your hands. Because there’s nothing like a F*ck You Fund to fall back on when you’re ready to walk.
Some of you said you’re thinking about leaving
76% of you haven’t quit your job in the last six months, but 52% said you’re considering leaving your job. The reasons why vary.
Many of you wanted more flexibility to work remotely, or more money, or both. Others felt like you weren’t valued by management, especially when some jobs got more difficult during the pandemic. And many of you wanted to find a deeper sense of purpose, now that you’ve had time to reflect on what really matters to you.
Before you fire off that peace-out email, it can help to think about the kind of move you want to make and why. As Lead Executive Career Coach Gala Jackson says, deciding to jump into the job search fray is rarely about money only. (Though that can play a big part.)
Some of you said you’re staying the course in your current role
There’s certainly a lot of talk about quitting, but there’s also some deep thinking going on about what makes you feel valued at work. Many of you responded (and we agree) that there’s nothing quite like compensation to make you want to stay put.
Here’s one of our fave responses from a community member on the reasons why she’s decided to stay: “Enjoy the people. Comped fairly. Given the tools and time to succeed.” 🙌
Next up: No surprises here, but flexibility and autonomy took top priority alongside wanting more paid time off and the ability to work from home. Relatable. Plenty of you also said that loving what you do and working on a team that values your professional growth creates a workplace that’s hard to leave.)
If you’d like more of allll the things, now is the time to ask. At the moment, employees have the leverage to negotiate for more money, PTO, WFH days, and yes, that title bump, since many companies are trying to retain the great people they have and stave off a wave of exits that could hurt the bottom line.
Most of you really like WFH
If one thing’s clear, the majority of you are understandably less than thrilled about the prospect of returning to the office versus continuing to work from home.
Health is an ongoing concern, but even beyond that, returning to the office feels unimaginable for many of you. As one Elle Raiser eloquently put it: “Commuting for an hour-plus was normal and all I knew. Now? No way do I want to lose the work-life balance I’ve gained.”
On the flip side: Not everyone is dreading returning to the office. There are a few of you who really miss that separation between where you live and work (no matter how cute your pandemic pets are)..
Our reco: If your company is asking employees to come back to the office and you want to keep working from bed (we don’t judge!), now would be the time to push for flexibility around where you work. And if you're someone who misses casual in-person interactions with coworkers, but your company’s not returning to an office anytime soon (or ever), it might be time to start looking for a role at one that will. Until then, now’s the time for all of us to focus on the WFH upsides, while we still can. Chitchat over Slack or Google Hangouts, grab lunch, run out for coffee, or block off time to move your body during the day. Here are a few of our best tips for staying connected, efficient, and un-frustrated while you’re working from home.
The overwhelming consensus of how you feel about work right now
Whether you left for your radical sabbatical or found a new opportunity you’re passionate about (congrats!) or you’re still weighing the pros and cons about staying put, almost all of you agree: Being treated well and paid what you're worth are top priorities wherever you land. (Excuse us while we wipe away the proud tears from the corner of our eyes.)