I'm 'loud quitting' after my job's RTO mandate. I openly call out management and I'm only staying for the paycheck.

 I understand that you are currently facing challenges with the changing company culture at your job as a solutions engineer. It seems that over the past five years, there have been significant shifts that have affected your experience and overall satisfaction. You have expressed your concerns about the forced return to the office and the lack of transparency from the company's administration.

Previously, your company used to embrace work-life balance and supported remote work, even before the pandemic. However, within the last year, there has been a shift towards in-person work, with a recent mandate for a two-day in-office schedule. This change has affected morale, with employees feeling that remote work has been successful and questioning the need to return to the office.

Furthermore, you've mentioned a lack of transparency and trust in the company's administration. After being acquired by a private equity firm, there have been rounds of layoffs, new management hires, and a decrease in transparency regarding decision-making processes. These changes have resulted in the departure of long-time employees who were champions of the previous company culture.

You've been actively expressing your discontent by openly questioning and pushing back against the company's decisions. This is a reflection of your lack of trust and respect for the current leadership. While you have been considering finding a new job, the level of job security and the attachment to your team have made this decision challenging.

It is clear that you are looking for a better workplace with a more aligned company culture. Your frustration with the current situation extends beyond yourself, as you've mentioned that some of your coworkers are unable to speak up due to work visa limitations. Your commitment to supporting them while seeking a more fulfilling work environment is admirable.

Considering the circumstances, my suggestion would be to continue exploring your options and opportunities. While job security and familiarity are important, it's essential to prioritize your professional growth, job satisfaction, and alignment with the company culture. It may be worth considering networking within your field, updating your resume, and actively seeking out opportunities that align with your values and desired work environment.

Remember, the decision to leave a job is a personal one and should be carefully weighed. However, it is crucial to prioritize your overall well-being and career fulfillment. I wish you the best of luck in finding a workplace that resonates with your professional goals and provides the company culture you desire.  

The surge in Americans quitting their jobs has fallen from record highs it hit during the pandemic. Why that is happening could say something about where the economy is headed.

Quitting is a sign a worker is unhappy with their job, but also a sign they are confident they can find another. Quits trending down can be worrisome. The quit rate fell in each of the past three recessions.

But workers today are also sticking with their jobs for other reasons, including greater flexibility, better pay—or even that they are happy. And that suggests the economy has more staying power.

Why workers quit, then stopped

The so-called quits rate—the number of resignations as a share of total employment—was 2.3% in July, down from a 3% peak in April 2022. Readings this summer were back to levels from before the pandemic began. Fresh Labor Department data on the quits rate and job openings is due on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

When the economy emerged from a short but sharp slump in early 2020, after COVID-19 lockdowns, demand for workers quickly heated up as short-staffed businesses reopened. Employers raised wages and improved benefits to attract new hires. More Americans quit jobs to jump to better-paid positions, a phenomenon some called the ‘Great Resignation’. 

The rate at which Americans quit has more recently cooled as the premium they received to switch jobs has narrowed.

Weighing the pros and cons of walking away

Switching jobs comes with risks: new colleagues, a learning curve, and many unknowns about working conditions at a new employer. 

For some, it is an easier choice to stay put if the conditions are right. 

Paul Young planned to quit his job as a partnerships manager at 

 parent Meta Platforms in late 2020 to devote himself fully to work on combating climate change. Then Meta’s sustainability team let him know a role was opening on the company’s climate product team, he said, and he decided to switch roles but stay.

“It was a fit, where stuff I like doing, I can keep doing,” said Young, a 40-year-old who lives in Los Angeles. “Especially at the end of the pandemic and having my first child, having good pay, good benefits, good healthcare—that was a big draw.”

But loyalty to an employer doesn’t necessarily insulate workers from layoffs.

Hiring slowed this summer and the unemployment rate edged up from ultralow levels. Manufacturing, financial services, and tech firms have had bouts of layoffs in the past year.

Young was caught in those and lost his job in April. He now works as a freelance consultant on climate topics.

So why not quit now?

The pace of job growth cooled markedly over the past couple of years. Job postings were down about 15% from a year earlier in late September, according to jobs site Indeed. 

“There are fewer opportunities compared to last year, and less opportunity to jump around,” said Cory Stahle, an economist at Indeed. And it might be hard to negotiate a big raise.

Employers say they are planning to offer smaller wage increases next year compared with this year, a fresh sign that wage pressures are easing as job growth cools. Budgets for salary increases are set to rise by 3.9% in 2024, compared with a 4.1% increase in 2023 for workers who aren’t in unions, according to an employer survey by benefits-advisory firm Mercer.

Since the pandemic, workers have gained more flexibility to work remotely or on hybrid schedules and gained benefits like more paid time off. For many, that means they are happy in their current jobs.

Americans’ satisfaction with their jobs is the highest it has ever been, according to an annual survey published in May by the Conference Board. Hybrid workers reported the greatest job satisfaction compared with fully remote or fully on-site workers, according to the survey.

“Labor markets are loosening, but overall we are still in a very tight labor market,” said Selcuk Eren, senior economist at the Conference Board. “If companies are interested in retaining workers, they need to continue offering hybrid and remote work settings.”

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