The Domino Effect of the COVID-19 Resignation: Why Are People Quitting Their Jobs En Masse?



It is undeniable that our workspace has changed forever since COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, many companies were forced to shut their doors to avoid spreading the virus. 

This left many people unemployed, with few options to stay afloat apart from receiving unemployment help from the government. A couple of months went by, and the vaccine was released, so businesses could now work with certain sanitary conditions. Thus, we would think that people now have some normality despite the pandemic. But why are they quitting their jobs en masse? Let’s find out.


BLS data revealed that 4.3 million people quit their jobs in the US in August of 2021, which is the highest date since they started collecting employment data in 2000. 

Considering that schools and businesses are reopening and the vaccine is available across the country, it sounds contradictory. However, we should look at the bigger picture now that the national mood has changed. 

The level of uncertainty and changing salaries have employees feeling burnt out. Our current labor market seems unstable, and people are looking for a way out. This phenomenon is what economists call “pandemic fatigue”. 

Work-Life Balance

Since people feel so burnt out, they are looking for alternative jobs that provide them with a greater work-life balance. COVID-19 has opened a new world for fatigated employees: remote working. Remote jobs allow them to work on their terms without leaving their homes and with little to no chance of spreading the COVID-19 variants. 

New Career Options

Employees are exploring new options to disrupt their status quo and start working on their terms. That’s why we see an increase in the demand for job training programs in different areas such as technology, finance, and marketing. 

Those careers are highly in-demand in the online mecca, as there are plenty of job opportunities that offer better salaries and work-life balance. In the following list, we’ll explore some of the best online career options in 2021. 

  • Software engineering: Software engineering is the process of building online platforms such as websites, mobile, and desktop apps. This process is done using programming languages to provide instructions to those apps. Some of them include CSS, Ruby, Python, and Java. 
  • Digital marketing: During the COVID-19 outbreak, digital marketing has become more relevant than ever, and it’s most companies’ fuel to stay afloat. Consider a career in digital marketing if you have good communication skills and feel confident using social media. 
  • Finance: Finance careers are a great option in 2021. They offer good compensation, and most of the work can be done remotely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a financial analyst is $83,660.
  • Customer service: Little did companies know that their customer service dynamic would change forever, and their communication channels with customers needed to be optimized. That’s why customer service has become such a trendy career to try during the pandemic.

Low Salaries Don’t Keep Up With Surgent Prices

In September of 2021, BLS reported that national wages had increased by 4.6 percent. We can see this reflected in most industries. However, according to the BBC, prices have increased up to 6 percent, which means the cost of living is increasing faster than it has over the most recent decades. 

That’s why people have decided to quit their jobs to pursue careers with higher earning potential, especially during such uncertain times. It’s not a matter of getting a six-figure salary, but about having fair compensation.

The Domino Effect of The Great Resignation

Finally, we couldn’t leave without mentioning the domino effect of the great resignation. We have all experienced this phenomenon at any point in our professional careers. It consists of a psychological effect that motivates employees to quit their jobs when their peers leave. 

Experts have also come up with the term “turnover contagion”, referring to the situation when employees quit their jobs independently due to multiple changes in the company that they don’t agree with. In this case, we could be talking about many factors motivating employees independently, such as salaries, feeling burnt out, or feeling encouraged by their coworkers who left.

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