Almost 70% of US workers plan to leave their jobs in 2023 — and Gen Z, millennials are blazing the trail. 3 tips to successfully carve out a new career path this year

·6 min read
Almost 70% of US workers plan to leave their jobs in 2023 — and Gen Z, millennials are blazing the trail. 3 tips to successfully carve out a new career path this year
Almost 70% of US workers plan to leave their jobs in 2023 — and Gen Z, millennials are blazing the trail. 3 tips to successfully carve out a new career path this year

Since London-based management professor Anthony Klotz coined the term “Great Resignation,” clueless C-suiters and smug bosses have anticipated its eventual demise and a return to the days of thankful job seekers.

They’re still waiting.

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But it is clear that workers are, without a doubt, unsatisfied. In a recent LinkedIn study, almost 70% of Gen Z and millennial Americans stated they planned to leave their jobs in 2023. And with unemployment at a low 3.4% with many jobs left over, all signs seem to point to this fact: American workers are fed up. Worker dissatisfaction is only part of the story, as inflation has outpaced salaries nationwide. So what’s the boss to do?

If Gen Z and Millennials are demanding more from their jobs, there’s a good reason: They’re the most educated Americans in history. Some 63% of millennials have a college degree, while 57% of Gen Zs 17 and older are working on one.

And yet, three out of four managers find Gen Z more difficult to work with than other generations, according to a recent survey by Resume Builder. The criticism from managers is that Gen Z workers lack technical skills, effort and motivation, among other skills. It is no wonder they are looking to leave.

Yet waving goodbye to your supervisor doesn’t have to equate to leaving work behind altogether. Freelancing is in; entrepreneurial paths are clearer cut than in generations past. If this sounds like an aspiration worth your perspiration, here are three tips to achieve it in 2023.

Save before you brave it

If you plan to quit and strike out on your own, you must have an emergency fund. Estimates vary, but experts say anywhere from three to six months of wages in a savings account or highly liquid, safe investment is a smart starting point.

There are several reasons to do this. First off, even if you have an informational website and/or several gigs in the can, there will be financial bumps along the way. Count on it. Clients won’t pay on time — though your “pay now” bills will arrive without fail. Steady work can go on standby, or get cut without notice.

And did you remember those estimated quarterly tax payments? Forget those, even by a few days, and you’ll incur a penalty and perhaps have to scramble for the needed funds.

About the worst thing you can do is start out by incurring high-interest, unsecured debt. That’s a recipe for financial disaster as high balances will leave you treading water, with minimum payments barely covering interest rates.

What’s more, you’ll need to think long and hard about health insurance, a perk of full-time work. This can be incredibly costly, though packages exist for self-employed individuals from providers like the Blue Cross. Take care of yourself before you take the big leap.

Read more: What do Ashton Kutcher and a Nobel Prize-winning economist have in common? An investing app that turns spare change into a diversified portfolio

Monetize your passion

Want to be your own boss? Awesome. Want to avoid the drudgery of a dull day job? Yes, it can be done. Ideas to create cash flow can easily stem from your latest passion project.

Demand for freelancers is on the rise. Amid recent mass layoffs and hiring freezes, 43% of business owners surveyed by freelancer platform Fiverr in 2022 said they plan to hire freelancers during the current economic downturn and 81% of respondents said they are already using freelancers to support their staff and fill skills gaps.

Freelance writing is one of the most common gigs, and among aspiring writers, the options include starting a subscription newsletter, ghostwriting, or recording an audio book: one area of publishing that’s showing healthy growth. Get this: Audiobook revenue in the United States hit $1.6 billion in 2021, up more than 23% from the previous year. And it is expected to reach $19.7 billion by 2028.

If hustling’s your thing, consider dropshipping, where you purchase items in bulk for a low cost and sell them online through e-commerce sites such as Etsy, Reverb, Shopify or Amazon. Couple this with a social media strategy and you’ve got yourself a business; teach others how to do social media and you’ve got another business.

Some do see riches quickly; stories of TikTok and Twitter influencers abound. For the rest of us, patience is a rock-solid virtue. Take time to find a project that fits the lifestyle you want. (You did quit in part for quality of life reasons, right?) Luckily, there are tons of resources available.

Dare to move beyond one thing

Is striking out on your own risky? No doubt. But so is depending on a 9-to-5 job to provide everlasting security. Stories of those who log 20 or more years at a company are becoming increasingly rare — while news of layoffs, job cuts and the shenanigans of petty bosses are sadly here to stay.

Multiple income streams can create far more security than one job ever could. This explains why more Gen Zs and millennials are seeking opportunities to work less, but make more.

So how do you diversify? Creating passive income sources represents a fantastic portal. If you create a niche podcast, landing three sponsors as opposed to one doesn’t triple the amount of work you do — though it could triple your revenue.

Some choose to re-create a full-time job by cobbling together several part-time gigs they love. Also consider building on your core competencies. If you know basic audio engineering, that puts you one short step from recording interviews live — otherwise known as “tape syncing.” Many outlets will pay you $100 an hour or more to record the interview and deliver it quickly via Dropbox or WeTransfer.

You could also have ready-made income sitting just outside your apartment by renting out a parking spot, or collecting finder’s fees for referring business to a real estate agent or local merchant.

Find your niche, find your pace — and most of all, find the time to make it happen. Who would’ve thought quitting meant getting to work? Well, maybe you did — or anyone smart enough to leave behind dead ends for positive possibilities.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.