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This Year’s Hot Career Trend? Quitting!

Heading for the exits: Feeling tempted to say “I quit!” lately? You’re hardly alone. Workers are leaving their jobs at record rates: Roughly 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the workforce, quit their jobs in August, the highest such percentage ever reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many of them have headed for the exits with no immediate backup plan. Those career breaks are reflected in government data, too: More than eighteen months into the pandemic, the U.S. labor force is down more than 4 million workers, compared with pre-pandemic levels. Employers, meanwhile, are struggling to fill more than 10 million job openings and meet soaring consumer demand.

For her column this week, my colleague Krithika Varagur spoke with employees who left their jobs, took career breaks, and emerged, gainfully employed anew, to tell the tale.

It’s been said that quitters never win, but these workers gained plenty. They shared their best advice on everything from how to resign with grace to building a financial cushion in case your career change takes longer than you’d planned.

One thing the millions joining the so-called “Great Resignation” may not have to worry about so much is the future impact of a resume gap. Anthony Klotz, an associate management professor at Texas A&M University, says a deliberate break between can benefit workers as well as their next employer.

“Healthy transitions involve a clear ending to one role and then a period when you can mentally close that chapter,” he says.

- Source and Author Kathryn Dill, staff reporter, WSJ

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