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The “big regret” is the latest workplace trend sweeping the nation that most professionals who left their jobs last year wish they could end, according to a new survey.

2022 was another record year for leaving work. 4.1 million workers quit their jobs in December, bringing this year’s total to more than 50 million. An estimated 47 million left last year, citing higher pay and better working conditions as reasons to leave. Now, 8 out of 10 professionals who quit their jobs regret the decision, a new study from Paychex finds.

Paychex surveyed 825 employees who were laid off during the “big layoff” and 354 employers to analyze the impact of the goodbye cheer and gauge employee job satisfaction.

They found that mental health, work-life balance, workplace relationships and re-employment suffered as a result.

Gen Zers struggle the most

According to Paychex, Gen Z workers remember their old jobs the most. A whopping 89% of Gen Zers say they regret quitting, and their mental health is in decline as a result.

The “Great Resignation” has led to great employee regrets to seek new opportunities. Among those regrets, employees most likely missed their coworkers,” Jeff Williams, vice president of enterprise and human resources solutions at Paychex, told CNBC Make It. . “These companies create a sense of community among employees, creating a positive company culture, another thing employees missed in their previous jobs.”

“Our research found that 9 out of 10 people reported changing industries when they resigned, and professionals who changed industries were 25% more likely to regret their choice. than workers who stayed in the same industry. , and Gen Xers missed the most work-life balance from their previous jobs.”

Apparently, the workplace perks, benefits, and culture that drove young workers to join the Great Resignation are not enough to keep them satisfied.

“Despite satisfaction with mental health and work-life balance influencing many resignations, only half of our survey respondents said they were satisfied with their mental health (54%) and work-life balance (43%) at their new workplace. Unfortunately, Gen Zers reported the lowest levels of positive mental health and work-life balance.”

No loyalty, no freedom

While most employers say they are open to rehiring, some are more hesitant, questioning the loyalty of boomerang employees.

When asked if they were willing to rehire employees who left during a major layoff, 27% of employees said yes and that they had already hired at least one former employee. 43 percent said yes, but have yet to be rehired, and 30 percent said no.

“Anecdotally, we believe that more employers than ever before are open to the idea of ​​boomerang employees returning to their companies,” explains Williams. “Tight labor markets, specialized skills, turnaround time and knowledge of the quality of work expected are all cited as reasons by hiring managers. Those hesitant to rehire value loyalty, expected compensation, and underlying suspicion of an employee’s motives. “.

“Most employers either want to give people their jobs back or take them back, and the average business is likely to have already done that. But for others, workplace loyalty seems to keep employers from hiring them altogether. Returning employees received 7% raises, but 38% of employers were unwilling to offer new benefits to former employees. Almost a third of employers do not consider hiring people back, and blue-collar employers are 17% more likely than white-collar employers. feel this way.”

Turning over a new leaf

It’s natural to take time to reminisce about the good old days, but Williams advises employees not to dwell on the past.

“Nostalgia is the enemy of growth. Be realistic and move on if your former employer won’t hire you again. Know your worth, be confident in who you are, and move forward.”

As employees figure out how to turn over a new leaf, Williams suggests “starting with a fresh perspective on what you control.”

“For example, you have a trusted friend review your resume. You are in control of making connections on LinkedIn. You’re in control of going to networking events, taking a night class to improve your skills, and giving yourself a leg up on your search.”

Williams also says that workers should try to avoid jobs in the future to restore “stability” to your resume, and that while things may seem bleak now, it won’t last forever.

“The Great Resignation changed not only the workplace, but also the minds of those looking for better job opportunities. The good news is that there is hope for employees who have changed their attitude about the decision to quit. Many employers are willing to rehire people. and improve their benefits as well.”


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