Great Resignation hits with 1m drop

Jasmine McDonald was micromanaged by an overbearing boss and chained to her laptop. Then, like a million other Australians, she quit her “toxic” job.

When Jasmine McDonald had ‘distractions’ removed from the office as she worked from home during lockdown, she quickly realized her workplace was ‘toxic’.

She was ‘chained to her laptop’ racking up overtime every day, while being contacted after hours and most weekends by the enterprise technology company she had worked at for five years.

The software integrations coordinator felt like she was “sinking” in her job at a company she said was purely money-driven, where she would manage up to 30 projects at a time.

“It was just a constant barrage of phone calls and messages, it was almost like being micromanaged on lockdown,” she told

“It was like you couldn’t get up from your desk, go to the bathroom, have coffee, have lunch – you had to sit there all the time for fear of missing something.”

The 39-year-old said she was paid to work 37.5 hours but ended up working 45-50 hours a week, especially during Sydney’s 2020 lockdown.

During her time with the company, her role also evolved to include a lot more responsibility, but her salary barely budged, she said, leaving her with around $60,000, which was well in below industry standards.

Eventually, she became “very burned”.

“I was very unhappy. I had tried to change my role and move up in the company, but you tend to get typecast when you do your job very well – the company doesn’t want to move you because they will have to find someone to replace you, so they want to keep you where they’re comfortable having you,” she added.

“But I didn’t want to do anything, I had no motivation. I was tired of decision. I felt like I was chained to my desk, stagnating and just existing.

The great resignation begins

At the same time, her 14-year relationship was also falling apart and when she turned to her then-husband for help, telling him she would “wake up one morning and be in the coma” due to the mental health effects of her work, she said there was no support.

She knew then she had to make a change, sending in her CV, ‘stalking’ LinkedIn and going to whatever interview was available, landing a new job in January last year.

Ms McDonald is not the only Australian to give up her job in 2021 as part of The big resignationa phenomenon that is hitting the United States will cause millions of workers to quit every month.

New figures have shown that almost 10% of the Australian workforce left their jobs last year, or 1.3 million people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It was the greatest number of Australians change jobs since 2012.

Happiness trumps money

Ms McDonald said it was time employers recognized great employees before it was too late.

“When I told my manager I was leaving, he was like ‘How much do you want?’ I was like ‘I’m going to have to leave to recognize my work?’ “, Did she say.

“Companies need to recognize staff when they’re there – don’t try to recognize them when they’re already out. I said it was not about the money, I stepped aside but since taking up my new position I have been offered reward and recognition.

She said the new role, which is healthcare-based, is completely different, giving her the job satisfaction she desperately needed rather than waking up to a feeling of “fear”.

“For me it was about my sanity and sanity rather than big financial gain and that’s more my motivation when it comes to my job – it’s the satisfaction I get in my work,” she said.

“I would rather be happy and have good mental well-being than earn a lot of money.”

The Sydneysider even found love again and his new partner also threw away his six-figure job as a business analyst to take a serious pay cut to become a pilot.

Resignations could skyrocket

Kris Grant, CEO of management consultancy ASPL, predicted the quit rate could hit 15% by the end of the year as the labor market tightens with record unemployment rates.

She said the ABS data was clear evidence that the country was seeing the start of Australia’s Great Resignation.

“We have seen the turnover rate climb to 9.5%, its highest level in 10 years, as the labor market tightens and the unemployment rate drops to 3.9%, its lowest level in nearly 50 years,” she said.

“Employees who are unhappy are walking away and increasingly they are using their bargaining power to demand higher wages.

“The recent increase in job mobility has been more pronounced for women, rising from 7.6% to 10%, while for men it has risen from 7.5% to 9.1%.

“Some women use their power to leave low-paying jobs, and we encourage women looking for new jobs to ask for more money to try to close the gender pay gap, which is at the nationwide at an unacceptably high 14 percent.

With skills shortages emerging across all industries in Australia and job vacancies at historic levels, now has never been a better time to look for a new job, Ms Grant advised.
“More generally, as inflation rises faster than wage costs, we can expect employees across all sectors to raise their wage demands to reflect rising inflation,” she said. added.

“This risk increases as inflation increases and the number of job vacancies also increases. Employers need to listen to the demands of their employees, especially now that the labor market is tightening so quickly or they could lose their job. most valuable resource, their people.

The ABS also found that people were more likely to change to a job with more hours (36%) than to a job with the same hours (33%) or fewer hours (31%).

But research by financial firm Wisr found that 21% of Australians want to quit but say they can’t because of heavy debt, while just over half consider financial constraints and pressures of life as the main obstacle to their professional aspirations.

Did you quit your job or make a major life change this year? We want to hear from you

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