Changing Jobs: Upgrade Your Skills


There is a mass exodus of employees from their jobs in the first half of 2021. CNBC cites the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary of the U.S. Department of Labor, showing that four million workers resigned from work in April. Most of the resignations were in retail, professional services, business services, utilities, transportation, and warehousing. Business Insider reports that this broke a 20-year record. It was followed by 3.6 million resignations in May.

As a result of the widespread quitting, CNBC reported a record-breaking 9.3 million jobs available in April. The Labor Department stated that most of the openings were in food services, manufacturing of durable goods, accommodations, and other services from personal care to machinery repair. Only a little more than six million people were hired, though, mostly in federal government offices, food services, and accommodations.

This still left more than three million job openings unfilled. Business Insider states there were 9.2 million jobs open in May, showing that there were new job openings from both resignations and businesses reopening. In addition, a survey by Monster in June showed that among U.S. employees, 95 percent were thinking of resigning, too.

Employers are having difficulty hiring because workers are more discriminating now. According to reports from Blind, the Achievers Workforce Institute, Prudential Financial, and Monster, employees seek higher salaries, better benefits, freedom from burnout, a full-time work from home setup, or a hybrid of remote and office work, and improved work-life balance. They also want to move to a company that will appreciate their work more, has a better company culture, and has values in line with their own.

Prepare Yourself Before Quitting

Just because of the statistics, do not make a hasty decision to resign. There is still a high rate of unemployment, from 5.8 percent in April to 5.9 percent in June, according to Statista. This means that not everyone who resigned has found the job they wanted. It is best to follow the example of those who first prepared themselves by pursuing self-development and training during the pandemic.

CNBC states that in the Pulse of the American Worker survey, more than 50 percent of those planning to leave their jobs already pursued skills upgrading and other training in preparation for job hunting. Eight in ten among them are thinking of career advancement, and 72 percent reassessed their skills.

There are many courses you can take online. If you do not know how to drive, it is advisable to take an online driver’s permit course because this will enable you to find a quick job filler while job hunting. Deliveries are always in demand during the pandemic for food and other goods. You can do this while looking for the job you really want.

It is also best to study while you are still in your current job. Online courses have flexible schedules that you can work with. You will need your regular salary to fund your studies and your day-to-day needs.

Decide whether you want advancement in your current field or if you want to shift to a different field altogether. It will mean faster advancement if you find courses that build on your current skills. However, if you feel stuck doing something you do not enjoy anymore, this is the opportunity to start with something new.


There are fields like information technology (IT) where you can take short courses that already qualify you for a job after a few months if you pass the certification test. The courses build on each other so that you can continue to take course after course to push up your qualifications and the jobs you can apply for.

Another way is to explore what you currently have. Your employer must already know what is happening in the job market and, if you are a valued employee, will want to retain you. Have a talk with your manager about your concerns and see if you can negotiate for what you want. Do this only after you already have the skills you need to go job hunting if your boss reacts negatively.

Do not limit yourself to seeking a job. Sit down and do a self-examination to determine if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. This may be the key to achieving the level of income you aspire for and the level of freedom to work the way you want to. Think of what you can offer in terms of goods and services. It can be something you can make yourself, like baking artisanal bread and pastries or selling goods from other suppliers.

CNBC reports on a 16-year-old boy from New Jersey who sold two million dollars worth of products he bought from Walmart on Amazon Marketplace during the pandemic. Before he started, he studied business concepts online. However, he is not stopping there because he intends to study management information systems in college to merge knowledge of computer science with business.

Whether you opt to find a new job, negotiate for better terms in your current job, or start a new business, you will be off to a good start if you are well-prepared with the skills you need.

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