(NewsNation Now) — If the past few years taught us anything, it made many of us take stock of what’s important to us, where we want to live, who we want it to be with and what type of career would make us happy.
That’s part of why millions are leaving their place of employment.
In September alone, nearly 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs, according to U.S. government numbers.
As the job market continues to shift, many experts say it is employees who now hold the upper hand in job negotiations.
“People are trying to claw back their mental and physical health,” econominst Rebecca Ryan said during an appearance on “Morning in America.” “People are facing burnout in many industries. And I might even say all industries.”
An increasing number of people are leaving their jobs to explore other opportunities. Some separate from a long career to start their own business. Some want to be working where they feel more passion.
“They’re just trying to get back to themselves,” Ryan says of the reasons many are taking a break.
Following large-scale events such as the pandemic or after the world wars of the 20th century, workers got more compensation. They fought for it and employers were willing to give it.
“Workers really do have a bit of an upper hand right now,” Ryan said.
Ryan recommended that anybody considering changing jobs focus first on figuring out priorities.
“Don’t just fall back to working the way you had pre-pandemic,” she said.
Is it flexibility that you want? Do you want to work for a company with a purpose that aligns with your values?
“Knowing your priorities is going to go a long way in helping you find a good fit,” she said.
There has been a recent period over the past year and a half where many could afford to not work. There was government stimulus and unemployment packages that kept people afloat.
Ryan says one of the risks of extended periods of unemployment is letting your networks grow fallow.
“A lot of people are changing jobs and changing careers right now,” she said. “So make sure that even if you are continuing to sit on the sidelines, you’re thinking about staying in touch with your network.”
Watch the full interview with Rebecca Ryan in the video player at the top of the page.