Stories of the big quit dominated the news this year, with record numbers of people quitting their jobs just as vaccination efforts revived the economy and people were confident they could find a better job. work elsewhere.
So far, about 38.6 million people have quit their jobs through October. In comparison, 36.3 million people left their jobs in 2020.
CNBC Make It spoke with three women who quit their jobs this year for various reasons. Here are their stories of quitting, the biggest lessons they learned, and their top advice for others considering joining the Great Quit.
“I have to make very conscious decisions about what to do with my health and my future.”
Ranee Soundara, 37, lives in New York. She quit her job as product marketing manager in July.
Her abandonment story: After 18 months of working nonstop at a company that was going public, I was exhausted. My social life declined as we had to shelter in place, and I went into overdrive with work. My mental health suffered.
I saw my doctor in April 2021. When she asked me how I was, I cracked up. She said something like “your job sucks you in”, and that if I continued down the same path, it would cost me mentally and physically. Me being 37 and trying to freeze my eggs, I have to make very conscious decisions about what to do with my health and my future. I also have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, which can be exacerbated by ongoing stress.
I had to come to terms with the idea that no job is ever worth living. That’s when I started planning my outing. I decided to leave New York, see my family and spend time alone. I quit my job in July.
The hardest thing to quit: It was a moving moment to deliver my opinion to my boss. She is very understanding and knew I was doing this for my health. HR suggested I take sick leave, but I didn’t think it would make a difference. I would always come back to the same work environment.
The biggest lesson she learned: I traveled to Hawaii and Europe after quitting. Traveling helped me relax and reflect. But while taking a trip is enjoyable, it is only a momentary escape. You should always address the root causes of your mental health issues. As my time away ended, I had to start thinking more deeply about what I really wanted for myself.
His advice to people considering quitting smoking: Make sure you quit for the right reasons. It took me a long time to figure this out. Think about the decision and the financial consequences for you or your family. Weigh the pros and cons.
Also, ask for help as soon as you can. Especially in the Asian American community, I feel like there’s such a stigma around seeking mental health help.
And after: On the career side, I’m back in New York and taking time to explore my options. Burnout has taught me a lot to make sure that whatever organization I go into, I have to be very clear with the goals and expectations that I set for myself. Personally, I am creating a plan to freeze my eggs in early 2022.
“I connected to myself and what makes me happy. I didn’t want to disconnect.
Giselle Sitdykova, 45, lives in Oak Park, California. She quit her job as an analytics manager in July.
Her abandonment story: Before 2020, my life was on autopilot. Every day, I would get my 11-year-old son ready for school, cook meals, drive to work, network with co-workers, do my actual job, and then rush to get my son home. I didn’t have time to think. With remote work, I had four hours back on me every day.
I started thinking about starting a business. I wanted to start a website that would give personal recommendations to help people who are considering moving. In October 2020, I hired contractors from Fiverr and Upwork to bring the first version of my website, Dwellics, to market.
This spring, I heard that my company was planning to bring everyone back to the office in July. I took it as a sign. I gave my leave on June 1 and had my last day on July 2.
The hardest thing to quit: I have always associated myself with my work and with being in the corporate environment. Suddenly, the day after my departure, I no longer had a title, no salary, and my new company still had no name. It’s like going from a nice house to an empty lot and starting to build from the foundation, where you hope that at some point what you’re building will be bigger than the house you once had.
The biggest lesson she learned: I learned so much about myself. In 2020, I connected with myself and what makes me happy. I didn’t want to disconnect. I have the freedom to choose who I spend time with.
His advice to people considering quitting smoking: Understand what work environment you prefer before quitting, especially if you’re starting your own business. Also have a plan – for your life and your future job – for at least the next six months.
And after: I’m bringing my first client in December. We will soon start generating revenue.
“It’s no use being unhappy”
Stephanie Becker, 22, lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She quit her job at a dog boarding house in June.
Her abandonment story: I lost my retail job during the pandemic and was out of work for a year. In the spring of this year, I saw a ton of job postings. I was hired at a dog boarding and daycare center.
But the work has become far too stressful. I agreed to work the day shift, but instead I was assigned to start at 4:30 a.m. I didn’t get along with my boss. I have been asked to do work outside of my job description. Then my uncle fell ill with Covid. I requested time off to help care for him, but was denied.
Every day after work I would get in my car, break down and cry. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. After two weeks, I gave my notice.
The hardest thing to quit: The hardest part was deciding where to work next. It was so different from when I was unemployed last year. The day after my departure, I had two job interviews. I didn’t want to rush into another job and have the same problem as before. But it was hard to find a company that actually cares about its workers, provides benefits, and doesn’t underpay. It took me about a month to find the right job I wanted.
What she would do on it: During the job interview process, I checked employee review sites to see what people think of their company. It would have helped me when I decided which job to take.
The biggest lesson she learned: Look for something that interests you, but also something that will help you in your life and not stress you too much. There’s no point in going to work and coming home and being miserable.
And after: Now I work at a Starbucks a 20 minute walk from my house. They cover 100% tuition if you go online to Arizona State University. I call their office later for more information on my options.
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
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