A report from McKinsey found that the Great Resignation is actually more of a reshuffle, reinvention, and reassessment by those who want to control their work lives more.
Data from the report, called "The Great Attrition is making hiring harder," notes that 40% of workers are planning to leave their jobs in the next three to six months. Additionally, only one-third of those who quit their positions in the past year returned to the same industry. Industries that took the hardest hits during the pandemic suffered the most churn, such as social services, travel, and finance.
Ultimately, the report finds that there are three types of employees quitting their more traditional roles: reshufflers, reinventors, and re-assessors. Reshufflers are moving industries, reinventors are founding their own businesses or shifting to the gig economy, and re-assessors are those who are quitting the workforce altogether to take care of their own lives.
Those who fall into one of the three categories, McKinsey says, are usually between the ages of 25 and 45 years old – called "do-it-yourselfers" by the report. These workers are anything from gig to part-time workers or those employed full-time in non-traditional roles. These do-it-yourselfers note that stress, lack of control over their work schedules and workload, and bad managers are all reasons they've decided to pursue a new style of work. This group prizes flexibility, meaningful work, and fair compensation.
While younger workers are less likely to reshuffle, reassess, or reinvent, 18 to 24 year olds value pay less than career advancement, meaningful work, and supportive coworkers – and they also aren't afraid to quit because of stress or bad managers. Finally, there are also what McKinsey calls "caregivers," who left traditional employment because their jobs didn't allow them to care for children, family, or even themselves. There are more female caregivers than males, mainly ranging from 18 to 44 years old. They value well-being and supportive coworkers above any other priority.