As millions of employees leave the workforce or switch jobs during the pandemic, experts suggest people consider life and financial factors before they take the leap.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported four million people quit their job in April. It's part of what some economists are calling the "Great Resignation."
Microsoft's Work Trend Index, which surveyed more than 30,000 global workers, shows 41 percent of those questioned are considering quitting or changing professions. One in four people are looking for opportunities with a new employer, according to a Prudential Financial survey.
Ala Aldahneem was in this position five years ago.
She worked in IT and decided she needed a change: That's when Aldahneem became a certified life and business coach in De Pere, where she helps clients turn their dreams into a reality.
“It’s more fitting my purpose and what it means to me," Aldahneem said.
During the pandemic, Aldahneem said she's seen others looking to leave their job or make a career change.
“We had the time to sit down with ourselves, and listen to ourselves, and understand our voice, and that’s when we start to understand who we are," Aldahneem said.
For those wanting to quit their job or change careers altogether, Aldahneem said it's important to understand oneself first. She said people need to determine their purpose, values, goals and what they really want in life. Balance is also key.
“When you know deep down this is the right thing, then everything becomes smooth regardless of the change," Aldahneem said. "Change is possible, but it’s also hard. To grow, we need to change, and the easiest way to do that is to really make the decision wholeheartedly, confident that this is what you want, and everything will flow the way you want it.”
Finances also need to be considered before seeking other means of employment.
Ryan Freitag, a financial adviser with Edward Jones, said people should prepare for the future, but live in the present. He said that can include budgeting and retirement plans.
“Making sure they have, at the bare minimum, three months supply of cash in a savings account or checking account for day to day spending," Freitag said. "More likely we like to see at least six months of expenses for people to have set aside.”
When it comes to future finances, Freitag said people should look at their previous employer and understand what their old retirement account means moving forward.
He also suggests creating a budget worksheet with discretionary and essential expenses, a process that can take several months to build with a financial adviser.
“It’s never too late to start," Freitag said. "If you’re positioned, and prepared, and at least understand where your money is going you can make some good choices as you go through that transitional period.”