Freedom to Choose – Covid’s Impact on Career Choices

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Article by Aaron Velasquez

I QUIT!!!! …But Now What?

Covid’s two year birthday is coming up and among the numerous changes that came with this period, the Great Resignation is one of the most notable. Being one of the biggest labor shifts in the US economy, with millions of people quitting their jobs every month, it begs the questions: who are these people, why are they quitting and what are they doing now?

who are all these people who are quitting their jobs, why are they quitting, and what are they doing now?

GenZ and Millenials Lead the Big Job Change Shift

Demographically, Gen Z and Millennials seem to be leading the charge with a recent November study stating, “77% of Gen Z and 63% of millennials plan to switch jobs in the next 12 months. Contrast that with baby boomers, of which only 33% plan to do the same.” Some writers have argued that many of these workers are leaving their places of work in search of better benefits and career opportunities; more flexible schedules, better pay, health benefits, hybrid work options, and child-care all being at the top of that list. However, a new hypothesis is that workers may just be exercising their freedom to choose. In such a turbulent time, socially and economically, people are taking advantage of the situation to find what else there is out there and what it actually is that they want to do.

Starting a Business is Choice #1

And it turns out that a lot of these workers want to start their own businesses. Just this year alone, over 4 million new business applications have been filed, evidence that people want to try something new on their terms, not just find a better benefit package. Further, the top three motivations cited in a Guidant Financial study were: wanting to be their own boss, dissatisfaction with corporate America, and wanting to pursue their passion. And these entrepreneurs follow the same demographic changes as the Great Recession, with the bulk of entrepreneurs, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, falling between the ages of 25 and 44, with the average being around 42 when they start their business. Further, female entrepreneurs have been on the rise; according to the same Guidant Financial Study, 31% of current small business owners are female, up from 25% in 2019

Now, if you’re an employee or new entrepreneur in this situation, there are a couple things you might want to keep in mind. First, new laws are constantly being introduced and 2022 will bring some important ones to California. Despite the beauty of the Santa Barbara area, state regulations are real and any business owner, especially new entrepreneurs, should keep up on them. Secondly, the work environment, especially for start-ups, is turning a new leaf and a coworking space like Workzones might be your next office. Positioning yourself in a productive environment and community of like-minded professionals, there are a myriad of benefits that come with working at a coworking space; making it a natural solution for this wave of new self-employed entrepreneurs and hybrid workers.

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