American workers continue to head for the exit doors – or at the very least, seriously consider it. Recent data shows about 40% of employees are considering leaving their jobs in 2023, and the number one reason may surprise you.
According to a recent TRANSEARCH survey, seeking better work-life balance tends to be the most significant factor prompting people to contemplate a new job. “Change is sometimes good, but it depends on why you’re leaving, and money isn’t always (the sole) determining factor,” noted survey respondent James A. Faber, CEO at Faber Technologies Corporation. Nevertheless, pay is still a primary motivator, coming in second in the TRANSEARCH survey, followed by better company culture, rounding out the top three.
The reasons why people re-evaluate their careers include: the cost of juggling professional and personal lives; work cultures that do not align with one’s values; and a desire to boost one’s compensation. Let’s take a deeper dive into understanding the reason we are seeing waves of people contemplating new roles, along with some tips for pursuing new opportunities.
Seeking to Strike a Balance in Work and Life
Although the massive growth in remote work has enabled greater flexibility, it has led to the unintended consequences of working increased hours. That’s a significant reason why work-life balance – or lack thereof – topped the list, with 35% of respondents selecting it as number 1.
“Flex-time, remote work, and similar arrangements seem convenient at the outset but can turn into a work environment where you’re always ‘on,'” notes Money Magazine . “Having access to your job’s network from home just means there’s more opportunity to keep working around the clock.” And people are doing the latter, triggering a surge in burnout.
According to a 2022-2023 Aflac WorkForces Report, more than half (59%) of American workers are experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout. The study noted employees who suffer from burnout report lower job satisfaction (55%) and negative perceptions of work-life balance (55%) and are more likely to seek another job in the next year (56%). The costs of burnout to productivity are in the hundreds of billions of dollars, along with the crushing toll it takes on people’s mental health. The quest to find more balance is necessary.
Show me the Money
Show me the money has been a clarion call for workers since the beginning of paid labor. It still is a significant draw, coming in a solid econd place on our list at 32%. Cost of Living is soaring thanks to inflation; it’s understandable why money is a big lure to look elsewhere. And switching does indeed pay substantial dividends. ADP released it’s National Employment Report in December and stated that “Job changers have achieved a median (compensation) increase of more than 15% while those who have stayed with their (current) employers see a 7.6% raise.” A compelling reason to leave.
“If you’re not being paid what you’re valued… at your job, then you’d best be looking for your next option,” said Mandi Woodruff-Santos, a personal finance expert and co-host of the podcast Brown Ambition, in a CNBC interview. She added people should be casually looking for jobs even if they’re happy with their current position.
Better Company Culture
Coming in third place at 26% is the desire for a healthier organizational culture. Close to 80 percent of workers consider a company’s culture before applying. Perhaps even more illuminating is that almost half of employees would leave their current job for a lower-paying opportunity at a company with a better culture.
TRANSEARCH survey respondent Matthias Schuelle, Vice President at Parsons Corporation, said, “If you want to create something special for others and yourself, you need a team that engages, challenges, and supports you, and vice versa,” Schuelle said. “This environment is not easy to find. First, you need leaders who create a place where you can make these vital connections built on respect, trust, and values. Secondly, you need people that believe in you, open doors, and support you even in difficult times. If you found it, you probably stay and if you have not, you probably continue searching.”
Whether it’s work cultures that are simply too demanding and don’t fit into the work-life balance people crave, or sky-high inflation triggering a need for higher pay, workers are looking to change jobs in record numbers. The TRANSEARCH survey and other data demonstrate these trends are not diminishing.
If you are seeking a change, we have advice to help you stand out as a great candidate.