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Quitting Spree: 50% of American Workers Say Pandemic Has Led Them to Reevaluate Their Career Choice


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The global impact of COVID-19 has been wide-ranging, from economic hardship to creating a need for positive change. While workplaces scramble to fill openings, many Americans are seeking a fresh perspective due to fallout from the pandemic. A record quitting spree resulted in four million people leaving their jobs in April and another four million in June. Almost 50% of American workers say the pandemic has led them to reevaluate their job. 

"I think the pandemic reveals our mortality," said Pastor Tim Yee, author of Finding Your TruCenter. "So whenever you come close to death, whether it's [a] sickness in some form or a near-death experience, life gets really clear."

Pastor Yee is working alongside research fellows at Barna Group, examining the ebb-and-flow from the workplace, churches, and universities; it turns out four out of five adults believe life's ultimate goal is happiness. Their goal is to help others find life's purpose by connecting their work-life with their faith.

"The three main questions people wrestle with are: Who am I, what's my identity? Where do I fit in, what's my sense of belonging to some sort of community of purpose? And what am I here to do?" said Sr. Research Fellow Brook Hempell.

While focusing on career data and a shifting workforce, Barna's vocation project found something troubling in the church, Christians are pursuing happiness instead of Christ.

"It's not a sustaining framework to just chase after happiness, that's so circumstantial," said Dr. Stephanie Shackelford, author of You on Purpose.

"I think what is interesting is practicing Christians are even more likely to chase after happiness [than non-Christians] as their primary aim."

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Not only are Christians more likely to get lost in the pursuit of happiness, but the data also shows about a third of Christians have stopped attending their church community during the pandemic and haven't returned.

"We believe a lot of them are kind of what I'll call feeding their faith or nurturing their faith in other ways," Dr. Shackelford said. "It's concerning because we were made for community."

To help those searching for a higher calling reconnect with a purpose-driven life, Barna is reintroducing its one-of-a-kind online assessment called Trumotivate. Think of it as a Myers-Briggs or Enneagram, but with a focus on what you're created to do, as opposed to what you do well. 

Only about a quarter of Christians say they feel like they're in step with their calling in life. And only one out of every 10 adults working are purpose-oriented in their work. Dr. Shackelford says the vast majority of us are going to work without any sense of purpose, saying most likely the paycheck or a friendly boss is what keeps people going back every day.

"You are twice as likely to be highly satisfied in your life if you're highly satisfied in your work as a Christian," said Pastor Yee. "So there's a direct correlation between satisfaction and work and satisfaction in life."

Pastor Yee is introducing a 6-week bible study TruCenter, using Trumotivate as a bridge to help others connect work and faith. The biblical journey also used scripture to show others how we are to work and how we are to show up in the world to be on God's mission. They've found when we align God's true calling for our lives, which is to glorify Him and bless others, we are blessed in return.

"When you faithfully pursue God's will, he's not going to lead you astray and he'll reveal that one step at a time," said Dr. Shackelford.

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About The Author


Brody Carter has been reporting and anchoring at CBN since 2021. In his time at CBN, he has found his stride in national news, including political and foreign affairs, extreme weather, and in-depth faith-based reporting. Brody frequently covers news for The 700 Club, Faith Nation, Newswatch, and Christian World News. Brody is passionate about news and displays standout dedication and work ethic in the field. Since starting at CBN, Brody has not only grown as a journalist but also as a person of faith thanks to close family, friends, co-workers, and the church body in Virginia Beach. He