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4.5 million Americans just quit their jobs: What to know before you join them

Job Resignations
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jan 04, 2022

CINCINNATI — We saw massive layoffs in 2020. In 2021, the tides turned during what is being called "The Great Resignation."

A new Labor Department report said a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November. Many decided they didn't want to return to the office full time as companies began calling them back.

As the calendar turns to 2022, economists expect the resignation to continue as workers look elsewhere in search of greener pastures.

Pursuing his life-long dream

Until this summer, Jake Leber was a TV news producer at WCPO 9 in Cincinnati.

While he found his job satisfying, and loved the people he worked with, the long hours were too much during the pandemic.

"We work holidays, we work weekends, we work overnights, and you have to make sacrifices in your life to do it," Leber said.

He knew he wasn't fulfilling his lifelong dream.

Now, Leber is hosting trivia shows in local nightclubs and working remotely for a trivia company during the day.

"I always wanted to do something interesting and keep my mind active, as opposed to giving me a paycheck every month," he said.

What to know before making the jump

Leber is like millions of Americans who reassessed their priorities during the pandemic and decided they did not want to return to the 9-to-5 grind.

Lisa Rowan is a consumer finance expert with "Forbes Advisor." She said the first step for anyone planning to quit their job is to make a plan.

"Take an inventory of your spending, your obligations, and the different factors that you might have to make up for if you leave a job, so you can plan for some financial security in 2022," Rowan said.

Rowan said people who plan to quit should be clear in their objectives. Is it really worth leaving a job with benefits and paid time off? Is it worth it to find a fully remote job?

"You might be able to negotiate some differences in how you do your work at your current company," Rowan said. "So, if you're dissatisfied with something in your current job, whether it's the hours you work, the responsibilities that you have, whether or not you can work from home or you have to go to the office, now's the time to have that conversation and go into it with an open mind," Rowan said.

Above all, Rowan said, the most important thing for workers to do is take their time and think it out.

"Do not just stop showing up for your current job," she said. "You need to think ahead about what's going to be smart for your long-term career and your long-term work satisfaction."

Leber loves his new career and urges everyone to follow their dreams if they can afford it.

"Finding joy in the day-to-day is so much more important than the paycheck to me," Leber said.

That way, you don't waste your money.

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