According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of employee attrition has been increasing each year since 2000, when BLS began collecting this information. In 2018, about 40 million employees were predicted to quit their employment. Mercer, a global Human Resources (HR) consulting firm, picks up the figures of "employee quits" by category:
- Millennials — 51 percent
- Generation X — 25 percent
- Baby Boomers — 19 percent
According to Compdata, the hospitality, healthcare, and manufacturing industries had high turnover rates, while industries that had low turnover rates were utilities, insurance, and finance.
What's driving the job-hopping? Low unemployment rates and the high demand for skilled workers, reports the Society for Human Resource Management. These trends seem to be empowering professionals to change jobs or careers because of the many opportunities the job market has to offer.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers in 2018 spent an average of 4.2 years with the same employer. While this may sound like an alarmingly low tenure, not aiming for the gold watch for 50 years of service can actually be a good thing as these four individuals whom we are about to introduce to you have shown. Read on, as they share their stories, their experiences, what motivated them and how an online degree program made it possible.
Stop suppressing your desire to chase your lifelong dream
Tanean Schaller worked as a medical assistant in a busy New Jersey urology practice. She became disillusioned with the way patients were being treated and decided to return to school and change careers. But as a 38-year-old single mom, she was hesitant to return to the classroom, where she was afraid she'd stick out because of her age.
She shares with OnlineDegrees.com, "I knew I wanted to earn my degree, but going back to school as a 38 year old, I was too intimidated to take classes on campus. I live only two miles from the local community college, which offers courses online, so I decided to go there."
"Initially I chose business/marketing only because I could take the entire program online. But after the first semester, I realized if I did not chase my original dream of earning my paralegal degree, I would regret it. I began taking classes part-time after I left a long-standing career in the medical field. It took me two years and one semester to complete the online paralegal degree program."
Tanean utilized the career resource center in her college when she wanted to change her resume from chronological to functional. "I had spent 12 years in the medical field. Although I was changing careers and could utilize that knowledge in my new career, I did not want my resume to highlight those skills and strengths." She goes on to say, "I prepared my resume and cover letter to reflect my current career and educational goals. I specifically looked at firms that practiced in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury because of my medical background."
She was offered a part-time internship opportunity with a local law firm. After three months, the firm offered her a full-time position.
Where's there's a passion, success may not be far behind
Equipped with an online master's degree in healthcare, V.J. Sleight was one among the 330 out of every 100,000 people who started their own business every month, according to Kauffman Startup Index, with the highest number of new entrepreneurs aged between 45 and 64.
Sleight talks about her journey, "I had been working as a mortgage broker for over 20 years, which gave me the time and freedom to pursue my passion of helping others quit smoking. I wanted to prepare for a second career when I retired from the mortgage business and went back to school."
Her passion was to help people stop smoking. When we spoke to her, she was already writing books, "Stop Smoking, Stay Quit" and "Tips to Win at Quitting" "Crush your Butts". Sleight felt the lack of a formal education often hindered her from getting professional opportunities as a speaker for cessation or being hired as a tobacco treatment specialist.
"I looked for an online degree program that would best suit my professional interests. When I started, I knew that eventually I wanted to write books and deliver talks to both smokers and health care professionals about cessation." She now keeps up her helpful blog at "Stop Smoking, Stay Quit" and travels around the country to train healthcare providers on how to help smokers to quit.
What's wrong with wanting to be your own boss and making it happen?
It's not hard to identify with people who want to be their own boss, right? Carlisha Moore felt the same way. Stuck in her various job roles as an administrative assistant, the mother of two from Dacula, GA, was a hard worker, but never managed to climb the ladder from administrative assistant positions. Longing for a chance to jump into the management track, Carlisha says of herself, "I consider myself to be a very motivated person. I am 23 years old and married, with two little girls. I am interested in so many things that it took me awhile to narrow down to a degree in business."
Why a business degree? "I actually enjoyed my job and helping others run their office, but I wanted to be my own boss. I came up with the idea that I would like to start my own administrative assistant business, and a business degree was just what I needed to begin."
After completing her degree she says, "I am qualified to do the job of some of the people I was working for, and that makes me feel great. I can talk budget reports, strategy implementation, etc. I also started my own business. My capstone included preparing a business plan. When I realized that I was capable of creating a business plan and actually saw my ideas on paper, it motivated me to start my own business!"
As an extra motivation, she explains, "I want my daughters to look back proudly on this day and say, 'If Mommy had the courage to do it, the sky's the limit!"
Ever have the feeling there's so much more in life you want to do?
There's that gnawing feeling, again. The feeling that says there's got to be more to life than what you have right now. Some sit on that feeling; others take action. Like Amanda Haddaway, a corporate trainer for an IT consulting firm whose job led her to travel extensively throughout the country, but an interest in technology, leadership and education/training took her to more places than she could imagine.
How did it all start? "My boss (and mentor) saw an ad for the educational technology leadership program. She knew that I was interested in pursuing a graduate degree and thought that the program might be a good fit." She earned an online master's degree in education, and then went on to write a book and co-found Cocktails for a Cause, an organization she started with two friends to benefit local charities to help other nonprofits with fundraising and marketing.
Amanda shares how she ended up writing a book, "I'd been freelance writing for a few years and it was one of those "bucket list" items. Every book starts with one page, so I just started writing all the questions that I had been asked repeatedly during my years as a college recruiter. I sought out other professionals to help write some of the sections and about seven months later, the book, "Destination Real World: Success after Graduation".
Amanda went from working as a corporate trainer to becoming an author and philanthropist. Who says you can't do everything you've always wanted to?
What about you?
Are you ready to make the switch? It's never too late, really. With online degree programs at your access, you too, can develop skills to qualify for the job of your dreams or the career of your life! This website can be the place where your journey begins. Explore your options.
- 10 Shocking Statistics About Disengaged Employees, Office Vibe, 2017, https://www.officevibe.com/blog/disengaged-employees-infographic
- About VJ, VJ Sleight, http://www.vjsleight.com/about-vj.html, accessed May 2019
- Changing Careers: Signs You're Ready For A Change, And How To Make It Happen, Forbes, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/06/changing-careers-signs-youre-ready-for-a-change-and-how-to-make-it-happen/#d89f24b14600
- Employee Tenure Summary, Economic News Release, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/tenure.nr0.htm
- Fairlie, R. W., Desai, S., & Herrmann, A., Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship: 2017 National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship,2019, https://indicators.kauffman.org/
- How Often Do People Change Jobs?, The Balance Careers, 2019, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-often-do-people-change-jobs-2060467
- Number of Older Americans at Work Has Grown 35 Percent, Society for Human Resource Management, 2018, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/older-workers-.aspx
- What Millennials Want Is Good for Your Business, Gallup, 2019, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/248009/millennials-good-business.aspx
- Why Are Workers Quitting Their Jobs in Record Numbers?, Society for Human Resource Management, 2018, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/workers-are-quitting-jobs-record-numbers.aspx