3 Reasons People Regret Quitting Job, Joining the Great Resignation

  • A career expert says job regret is one reason the Great Resignation rages on.
  • She suggests being “thorough with your job search rather than jumping at the first job offer.”
  • One reason people regret quitting is because it’s hard to find work in today’s job market per one survey.

Recently released survey data highlights some people regret quitting their jobs.

That’s based on a June survey part of Joblist’s second quarter of 2022 report which found that 26% “job seekers who quit their previous job” regret their decision. Just over 600 people were asked about this regret for the survey.

A Harris Poll survey for USA Today from earlier this year also found that roughly 1 in 5 people who quit felt regret.

“The Great Resignation continues because many people who regret quitting their job started looking for – and landing – a new one recently,” Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, said in a statement to Insider.

As some people who regret their choice apply to yet another job or seek to return to their old positions, Insider looked into the reasons people regret quitting. The following are just three reasons people may regret joining the Great Resignation.

They quit in hopes of finding a better job – but that did not happen

The level of quits in the US has been over 4 million a month for almost a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And job openings have been over 11 million for six straight months as of May 2022. But even in today’s hot labor market, some people are not having the easiest time landing a job.

“The most popular reason (40%) is that they quit without a new job lined up and the job market has proved more difficult than expected, which is perhaps a surprising insight at a time when job openings in the US are near record levels, “Joblist wrote about its findings.

Kevin Harrington, the CEO of Joblist, told Insider he suggests people “take advantage while they can” of the labor market.

“If the job market does turn in the second half of the year, which hopefully it won’t, it might be more difficult to switch roles later,” Harrington said. “So especially for people who have certain regrets about their last switch it’s important to be very thoughtful and detail-oriented when selecting their next role, especially right now.”

Just maybe wait to have something new lined up this time before you say, “I quit.”

The new job simply was not what they thought it would be

Per the recently released quarterly report from Joblist, 17% said their “new job is not what they hoped for” and 16% said their “old job was better than they realized” as the reasons behind their regret. Almost a third of those with regret, 30%, said in the Harris Poll that the job was not what they expected.

“Those of you who are unhappy with the move, it’s probably because you were just moving too fast, both on the company side and on the employee side,” Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn career expert, told CBS Mornings.

Workers who have yet to quit but are considering it should also take precautions so they can mitigate concerns of potential regret. Alison Sullivan, Glassdoor career trends expert, said in a statement that workers should “carefully evaluate” their next steps before you hand in your resignation letter and leave.

“No one wants to find themselves with quitter’s remorse,” Sullivan said. “That can happen when a new job or company is not what you expected. This is why it’s critical to conduct research when making these career decisions.”

Sullivan added this includes checking reviews left by others for instance and examining the “the pros and cons of a new job or company before you quit.”

Although people may regret leaving because the new job is unlike what they thought it would entail, regret could also just be due to new job nerves.

“Regret may also be part of the comfort zone; a former job is familiar, it’s something you know rather than a new job which is unfamiliar at first,” Salemi said. “Also, as a new hire, there may be some stumbling blocks that can be overcome, but there’s often a learning curve both to the job and the employer’s culture and processes.”

Some job quitters miss their colleagues or their previous position

Just under a quarter in the Joblist survey, 22%, said missing the people they had worked with as the reason why they regret quitting. In the Harris poll, 24% of those with regret said they missed the workplace culture at their former job.

Some people who regret their job have thought about being a boomerang employee and returning to the colleagues and the position that they missed.

Survey data from Monster shows 61% of respondents would think about actually heading back to a previous employer. Fifty-nine percent said in the Joblist survey that they would not want to be a boomerang employee. About a quarter, 24%, said maybe.

“I think for those who regret their decision and wish they had kept their old job, it never hurts to reach back out to an old manager or representative at a company, especially if you have a good relationship there,” Harrington said. “It’s a super competitive market for employers right now to attract and retain talent. Many would welcome back former employees, especially high performers I think with open arms.”

Did you quit your job and regret it? Have you gone back to your previous employer after regretting leaving? Contact this reporter at mhoff@insider.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.