Watch CBS News

'The Great Resignation': COVID Making America's Workforce Rethink Their Jobs

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – America's workforce is shrinking. The so-called "Great Resignation" has stunned businesses and employers. Miami-based author and motivational speaker Bruce Terkel has a new book that dives into why business owners are having trouble hiring workers, and why workers are quitting their jobs in record number.

A record four million people quit their jobs in April. according to the Labor Department.

"Believe it or not, nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers are looking to change jobs or leave the workforce altogether," explained Terkel, author of Is That All There Is. The book explores why workers, blue collar and white collar, are participating in "The Great Resignation."

"COVID made us think about what we were, what we are doing," he said. "People think 'Am I going to keep doing this?' when they have been reminded how mortal we are."

It is well documented that people are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility, and more happiness. Because of that, there are jobs to be had.

But what can trigger a resignation decision?

Mush of what motivates folks to sell their homes and move on are the Seven D's: Divorce, Downsizing, Disease, Disability, Disasters, Debt, and Death. Yes, disease, as in COVID.

Terkel says there are two more D's.

"Disillusionment and disappointment," he added. "Meaning disillusionment? What I always wanted. The illusion I held is no longer enough. Disappointment? I did not accomplish what I wanted."

Many people are reflecting and reconnecting with what they really love.

"You start to think about what else am I going to do with my life? What else is going to happen? Why do I continue to do this?"

For many folks, that lifetime career job suddenly seems like a dead end, stale, and routine.

"I am hearing the footsteps and I am realizing that if I want to live the life I want to live, now is the time to do it," explained Turkel.

Turkel points out not everyone can make a move. Obligations like a home mortgage, feeding the family, college for the kids can keep workers anchored, but COVID made folks rethink what their jobs mean to them.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.