From the 'Great Resignation' to Regret? Some Who Left Jobs amid Pandemic Question Their Decision

·2-min read
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Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, some workers are regretting leaving their jobs amid the so-called "Great Resignation," according to a new survey.

Out of 2,000 workers surveyed between March 18 and 20, one in five regrets quitting their old job while a similar number of workers have expressed "remorse" regarding their new job, per a new Harris Poll survey for USA TODAY.

In fact, just 26% of job switchers said they liked their new position enough to stay, per the report.

One-third of the workers surveyed said they're already searching for a new job "with better working conditions, prestige or pay." Out of those who expressed dissatisfaction, 30% of respondents said that their new role was different from what they had expected.

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Speaking with TODAY this week, University of Houston professor Dietrich von Biedenfel said that oftentimes, "the grass is not any different on the other side of the fence" when it comes to leaving one job for another.

"We know the new boss is the same as the old boss," said von Biedenfel, who studies employment trends at the school.

Sara Norton-Sanner is one of many people that left their job in recent months for what appeared to be a better opportunity, only to ultimately be dissatisfied with the change.

The Albuquerque resident told USA TODAY that despite loving her communications job at a local animal shelter, she took a similar, higher-paying job at a nonprofit education group in November. Afterwards, she quickly realized it wasn't the right fit.

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"I was crying and asking myself: Why did I leave someplace I loved so much?" she said. "I let money get in the way."

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According to the USA TODAY poll, out of those regrets about switching jobs, nearly one in four said they did not properly weigh the pros and cons of leaving their job, while another one in four reported missing the culture of their previous job.

Additionally, 36% noted a loss of their work-life balance as a result of the change.

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To avoid making falling for fancy job titles and eye-catching job descriptions, von Biedenfel suggested asking questions such as, "How many how hours am I expected to be in the office versus working remote?" and "What is my team going to look like?"

The Muse CEO Kathryn Minshew also warned applicants of companies attempting to sway employees with enticing job descriptions. "They may feel pressure to sugarcoat things," she told USA TODAY.