Millions quit formal jobs to improve their quality of life post-pandemic

from Paris

The dream of his own home was bigger than the other: of his own life. This aspiration, already present in societies, has been further aggravated with the pandemic. Inspired millions of people to quit their jobs in search of a different life. There is no place in the world where this movement has not manifested itself. In the United States, about 50 million people will leave their jobs in 2021 in industry, services or the tertiary sector. The wave was and still is such that it has been called the “great resignation” or the “great shutdown”. In France, although few in number due to the small population and very strong resistance to change, resignations were also generalized and caused an employment crisis. The collapse, this time, was the other way around: not because of unemployment but because of a lack of candidates to fill thousands of vacancies.

To avoid flying, companies offer better paid jobs to their employees, without this stopping a trend which is not towards better pay but towards an activity closer to personal convictions, the need to clean the planet. was directed to. Life limited to infinitely short sacrifices.

Stephen Malmond, a former bank employee in a large group, left everything overnight: “Metro, Dodo, Boulot (Metro, Noni and Laburo) it’s over for me. Preferred to earn very little to leave a position of responsibility and prestige for a job that emphasized responsibility. It wasn’t until the pandemic and imprisonment hit that I realized I was leading a crazy life and, even worse, becoming a participant in the destruction of the world. Stéphane Malmond left Paris to live in Rennes, one of the big cities of Brittany, and he settled there with a modest company specializing in the framing of paintings. Winning more or less doesn’t matter to me anymore. My main socio-professional ambition is not to own a car or two but to feel good and to feel that I am contributing to making the world a better place.

in France

In France, according to data published by the Department of Animation, Research and Statistical Studies (DARES), During the first quarter of 2022, 520,000 people left their jobs, including 469,000 on permanent contracts and insured (CDI). “It’s a very high resignation rate,” recognizes the DARE organization of the Ministry of Labor.

french philosopher Eric Sadin (The last book published by Caja Negra in Argentina Editora “The era of the tyrant, the end of a common world”), explains that it is “a great breath of renewal, a kind of celebration of choice that has suddenly exploded in different regions”.

The evolution of professional activity means that many companies, particularly in the hotel, catering and transport sectors, are sorely lacking in manpower. However, they are not the only ones affected by the “search for meaning” aptly described by sociologists and highly qualified personnel specialists who resign from their posts, Elodie Chevalier. “The sociologist was assured – a questioning of what was or was not necessary. There was a loss of meaning before the pandemic in certain tertiary sectors which was a rapid and increased reflection on trades deemed essential or not.

The problem is not new, especially in recent generations. Sociologist about six years ago Jean-Laurent Casali write an essay (“The revolt of the first of the class”) on Young graduates from the best universities and business schools with a planned future and huge salaries, but who refused to “feed the system” and became farmers, opened bakeries and delicious cuisine.

swarm outbreak

After the pandemic, the French researcher found “a kind of epidemic that won over advisers, managers, intellectuals or people from the media: opening up a space, creating a quasi-experimental space to set up an urban farm, a plant-based cooking school. , a delicious restaurant, a yoga school, another school of osteopathy. The important thing is above all to bring people together, to be among the people, and not to be well paid but to isolate oneself. In short, they are existential projects within which new ways of life develop.

Caselli also notes one of the powerful contradictions of this “great sacrifice” and the desire for change: Years and years have been invested in inventing online communities connected via the Internet across the planet, but now, at most, aggregated, with others, within the same physical locations and within individuals, are involved in promoting social interactions. and is no longer connected,

“It’s a big change. Many people stopped believing in the system, realized the pointlessness of feeding a monster and decided to go their own way and bet on permaculture or a bakery. This move by Big Quiet, says Sadin, shows a rapid loss of meaning, especially in the face of so-called “skilled trades”.

Christine Le Favre, a woman who worked in the advertising sector and gave up everything to live in Normandy, on a farm where she practices permaculture, says that “before the pandemic and despite the fact that I had an excellent job , with a high salary that allowed me to live in the most expensive district of Paris, I could never get rid of this feeling of sadness. Before sleeping, I thought I was a failure. Since I worked three times more with my hands on the ground, I feel at peace, in line with my inclinations and proud to carry out an activity which does not destroy the planet, the Earth, but restores them. .

Elodie Chevalier also noted that the resignations “are not concentrated in one section, but concern the working population of all of France. Everyone is on the move, newcomers to the labor market as well as those who already have very successful careers. There is no youth or less youth, but all generations merge,

to change life

The desire to change your life, to give meaning to existence or to reorient the company’s activity towards bio-ecological projects is not the only source of Big Quiet la Française. Moreover, as Chevalier points out, “fear comes into play in this variable”. Fear here means seeking economic security outside of jobs where you depend on a structure or a boss.

During the pandemic, thousands of people have been laid off from their jobs. The economy has come to a standstill and with it monthly work and guaranteed wages. The measures adopted by the government and unemployment insurance mitigated the decline. However, faced with a possible recurrence of a similar situation, thousands of people have chosen to secure their livelihoods through freedom to work.

If the 520,000 people who left their jobs in the first six months of 2022 are added to the 518,000 people who did so in the last six months of 2021, that rises to more than one million employees. “It’s as impressive as it is invisible,” says Jean-Laurent Casilli.

The previous record of resignations dates back to 2008, when the financial crisis broke.: Some 510,000 people left their jobs. The end of the pandemic has also led to a sharp increase in economic activity and, consequently, “a lot of dynamism in the world of work”, observes Deyers. The agency notes that “stages of economic expansion open up new job opportunities and encourage people to quit their jobs.” However, resignations are now more linked to a deep desire “not to leave any bones in an office” (Christine Le Favre) than to the search for professional opportunities in the same field.

“The changes in professional orientation were revolutionary,” recalls Jean-Laurent Casilli. Radical and, in its own way, endowed with a real aura of representation of a new existence, of a different humanity in which the speculative banker becomes a baker, the social media specialist and the virtual manipulator transforms the life of a beekeeper . Movements can remain there, limited to a few individuals, but not enough to disrupt the system. It can also become massive and eventually become scarred, A final point for the expansion of a liberalism that only destroys the human essence and the perception of the other, as similar, as an ally,

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