4.3 Million Workers Quit Their Jobs in August. Should You Do the Same?

A man walking out of an office with box of his things after being let go.

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There were plenty of resignations in August. Is it time for you to leave your job behind?

Although the U.S. economy is in a stronger place now than it was earlier in the year, there's still some recovering to do. In spite of that, many workers felt empowered enough to quit their jobs over the summer.

In August, a record 4.3 million workers resigned from their jobs, according to the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That's the highest level recorded since December 2000.

Not shockingly, workers in food services and accommodations industries led that trend, followed by retail and healthcare workers. Restaurant and hospitality jobs are notorious for offering minimal pay, and given the risks of working in that industry during the delta variant surge, it's easy to see why so many people weren't willing to take the risk.

But even if you don't work in an industry that's considered high risk from a COVID-19 standpoint, it could still pay to consider quitting your job in the near term. And if these factors apply to you, it may be time to take that leap.

1. You can't remember the last time you got promoted

Even if you're a hard, motivated worker, it can be all too easy to get stuck in a dead-end job. If that's the scenario you've landed in, it may be time to move on. Being stuck in a role with no upward mobility could limit your income potential. And without being eligible for raises, you might struggle to meet your financial goals, whether it's buying a home or simply boosting your savings.

2. Your workplace is toxic

It's one thing to report to a grouchy manager or have a couple of colleagues who aren't exactly team players. But if your overall workplace environment is toxic, then it's probably time to move on. Working someplace where people are generally unsupportive, rude, and cutthroat could be a burden on your mental health. If that's the case in your office, you may want to tender your resignation and find a job where the people are more pleasant to work with.

3. Your company isn't taking COVID-19 safety seriously

Many companies are imposing safety measures like testing requirements, mask enforcement, and vaccine mandates on employees to make it safer to return to the office during the pandemic. If your company is taking no such precautions, then it may be time to seek out another role. Not only might continuing to work there harm your health, but there's something to be said for a company that values its employees so little that it won't put basic protective measures in place.

4. Your company isn't flexible at all

Many people were forced to work remotely during the pandemic and are only now returning to offices. But many companies have learned over the past 19 months that it's possible to be productive while working from home, and as such, they're letting people return to the office on a hybrid basis rather than insisting on five days a week. If your employer won't give you that flexibility, then it may be time to move on. Having a more fluid work arrangement could lend to a better work-life balance, which you definitely deserve.

Quitting a job isn't something you should do on a whim. Ideally, you can leave at a time when you already have another offer lined up. If that's not possible, make sure you have plenty of money in savings in case it takes a while to get hired elsewhere. But if these factors apply to you, it may be time to hand in your resignation letter -- and get a job that will be more rewarding on every level.

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