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In this solo episode Thomas Frey and Trent Fowler discuss the causes and implications of “The Great Resignation”, the phenomenon in which an unprecedented number of people are leaving their existing jobs to strike out for new ones. 


Show notes

  • Thomas has been making the rounds to discuss the Great Resignation, the phenomenon in which an unprecedented number of people are leaving their existing jobs to strike out for new ones. 
  • Being forced inside for most of a year as a result of Covid lockdowns has both given people a reason to consider their life choices and the time in which to do so. Many of them have come to the conclusion that they’re not doing what they want to do with their lives.
  • The Great Resignation is broken up into strata. One layer are retirees who decided to leave their jobs a little early, another is people leaving their jobs as waitresses or servers for something they find more stimulating. 
  • Though different industries are being impacted differently, everyone is feeling the Great Resignation. A survey by found that something like 90% of the workforce is considering switching jobs. 
  • One silver lining to this tumult is workforces considering how to give employees a better experience. As the old saying goes, you don’t quit a job you quit a boss, and if that’s driving waves of resignations jobs will need to consider how best to retain their talent. 
  • Many of the trends we’re seeing, such as an increased desire for and demand for the ability to work from home, are not driven solely by the Coronavirus but have been accelerated by it. 
  • One such trend is the historically low rates of college enrollment. People have been looking at the value add of a college education for quite some time and seeing that in many ways it just doesn’t stack up.
  • Another such trend is the move towards automation in the workforce. If more and more people are leaving their jobs employers are incentivized to use kiosks, robots, or algorithms to accomplish many of the tasks previously done by human beings. 
  • I asked Thomas whether or not he thinks that some of the people shuffling around in the labor force might eventually find that there just isn’t that much for them to do. He thinks the answer depends on the people involved. Boomers and near-retirees will likely be just fine, while younger and less skilled workers might have a harder time of it. 
  • But one possibility opened up here is for these economically homeless people to start taking hobbies, side hustles, and passion projects more seriously. As Elaine Pofeldt told us, with the tools available to modern entrepreneurs, it’s possible to get a lot of mileage out of person running a business several million worth of revenue in a year.
  • These topics and more in the episode!