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by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 27, 2021
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The pandemic has inspired lots of people to resign from their jobs, especially women.
The pandemic inspired a lot of people to make changes. For some, that meant shoring up their finances and building savings. For others, it meant buying a home, selling a home, or relocating to a whole new part of the country.
And then there are the millions of people who were inspired to quit their jobs. Despite rampant unemployment, a whopping 4.3 million resigned from their jobs in August, followed by a record-breaking 4.4 million resignations in September. And payroll provider Gusto reports that women were more likely to quit their jobs than men since the start of the pandemic.
It's not a secret that women are commonly paid less money than men for doing comparable jobs. A big reason women may be quitting today is frustration over the gender pay gap. Those who feel they're not being compensated adequately may be eager to go off and pursue more lucrative career opportunities rather than settle for their existing jobs.
But some women may be resigning from their jobs not by choice, but out of desperation. Many families are struggling to find affordable childcare these days. And in the absence of it, some families may be making the decision to have one parent stay home rather than lose the bulk of their income to daycare costs. Since women tend to earn less money than men, it stands to reason they'd be the ones to opt out of the workforce.
Whether you identify as male or female, you may have reached the point where you're eager to leave your job and find a new one. Or, you may decide it makes sense to take a career break and focus on raising a family, especially if childcare costs have been eating into your salary in a substantial way.
There's nothing wrong with pursuing new job opportunities if you're unhappy with your current role. But before you quit your job and drop out of the workforce for a while, ask yourself whether you can really afford to do so. While you may not bring home a lot of money after accounting for expenses like childcare, if your family relies on your income to stay afloat, then giving up your earnings could put your household at risk of debt.
Furthermore, consider the other benefits you may have to give up. If your employer provides subsidized health insurance, buying a replacement plan could end up being quite expensive, even with subsidies being in place.
If you'll be quitting your job to find a new one, make sure to research salary data for that role ahead of time. If you know what you should be getting paid, you'll be in a stronger position to negotiate.
At the same time, don't be afraid to talk salary relatively early on in the process. In the past, bringing up salary early on was considered taboo. But in today's labor market, many companies are desperate to hire, and so you might as well make sure you and a potential employer are on the same page as far as pay goes before getting deep into the interview process.
The fact that women have been quitting their jobs at a faster pace than men during the pandemic isn't necessarily surprising. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to find a better job in today's economy. But whether female employees end up going after them in the coming months is yet to be determined.
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