November 29, 2022

As the world began to emerge from the pandemic, thus too, the Great Resignation also began. People began quitting their jobs and made the decision to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. Whether it’s necessity or adversity being the mother of invention, one thing is for sure – many people find the push they need to reinvent themselves during hard times. 

A study and report by VistaCreate expertly points out the cause, and continuing trend, of the Great Resignation. The study highlights these points from the survey:

  1.       Finding Opportunities
  2.       Job Safety is Still a Priority
  3.       Choosing an Industry
  4.       Trying Something New
  5.       Lack of Money
  6.       Following Their Dream and a Better Work-life Balance
  7.       Biggest Struggle is Finding Clients
  8.       The Role of Social Media

With millions of people starting small businesses every year, what can new entrepreneurs and established businesses learn from this study?

Defining the Great Resignation

Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at University College London’s School of Management, came up with the term in May 2021. According to Klotz, “When there’s uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn’t happen over the past year.”

His assessment of the situation is backed by data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some 71.6 million people split from their jobs between April 2021 through April 2022. This was an average of 3.98 million people quitting each month, reaching a peak of 4.5 million in November 2021.

Finding Opportunities

The struggles individuals and businesses faced during COVID-19 wasn’t conducive to starting a business. However, over half of the respondents decided to participate in the Great Resignation by starting a side hustle (68%) or a new business (53%).

The report also stated that many people picked up new hobbies, started learning new skills, began finding more time to spend on social media and adapted healthier habits.

According to one small business owner, “The whole sector of remote work, learning etc. truly blew up during the pandemic. Every day you would hear about some new person who was creating their own business or ideas for the market and becoming successful fast.”

Job Safety is Still a Priority

Even though more people were venturing to start their own business during the Great Resignation, many still kept their full-time jobs (24%) or worked part-time (27%).

For first time entrepreneurs, having an income they can rely on until the business gets going is a great idea. After all, capital is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when starting a new business.

Choosing an Industry

There are a lot of people in the workforce who are in a particular industry because it pays well and not because it is what they want to do. 

The report revealed the business and finance (13%) industry had the highest workforce resignation. On the other hand, arts and design (15%) and the creative industry saw the biggest positive gains.

Trying Something New

Whether it was the pandemic or something else, people were more eager to start fresh. 

In the survey, 47% said they’ve always wanted to try something new. On the other hand, another 34% said starting a business of their own has always been a dream. The biggest driver in making the change for 27% was losing interest in the previous industry.

Lack of Money

Even when the desire to quit their job or start a new business was there, the biggest hindrance to doing it earlier was:

  • Lack of money (45%)
  • Afraid to take risks (39%)
  • Not knowing where to start (37%) 

Following a Dream and Work-life Balance

Breaking free from the daily grind of a 9-5 job was a big factor for many respondents. 

Almost half (47%) said they wanted a better work-life balance. Additionally, 49% said they were also leaving their jobs with ideas they came up with during the pandemic or pursuing ideas they already had in mind (51%).

Biggest Struggle is Finding Clients

Finding customers is tough for any business, but it is that much harder for startups. The top challenges for these new entrepreneurs are:

  • Finding clients (48%)
  • Cash flow (48%)
  • Design-related issues (35%)

When it comes to today’s digital ecosystem, design-related issues are an ongoing problem. Finding services that include everything you need is one way for new business to manage the cost and the technological challenge. 

VistaCreate provides an all-in-one solution for creating your visuals for personal or professional needs. 

The Role of Social Media

The role of social media is undeniable in the personal and work life of people, and it is not surprising that it played a big role in establishing their business (64%). Beyond establishing their business, social media advertising also had the biggest positive impact (68%) for newly created companies

The Respondents

The data from the survey comes from 4,000 qualified respondents over the past two years during the pandemic: 2,000 each from the UK and the U.S. 

These were people who participated in the Great Resignation by quitting their jobs and starting their own business. As well as those who started a business but kept their full-time job. 

The survey was carried out by VistaCreate and Kantar research agency between March 3, 2022 to May 3, 2022. View the infographic below for more.

great resignation


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