Asking Readers (Again) About Leaving Their Jobs – The New York Times

by | Jan 17, 2023 | Jobs

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.In the spring of 2022, as a surge in job departures was cresting in the United States (more than 40 million people left their jobs in 2021), the Special Projects team at The New York Times wanted to know how quitting had changed people’s lives. So, we asked our readers in an online questionnaire — and soon got our answer: Of the hundreds of responses, a majority of readers said that quitting had a positive effect on their well-being.In August, we published three articles; each focused on a selection of those readers, and how quitting had affected their personal finances, work-life balance or relationships.The series was a runaway hit. In the comments forum, hundreds of additional readers shared their stories, as well as what they believed the Great Resignation represented for the U.S. work force. “The larger story I see in this article is a society where the 40 hour a week grind just to survive isn’t good for us humans,” one reader wrote in a comment.Others, however, criticized the series for overlooking or glossing over a few major factors involved in quitting — or in not being able to quit. One reader asked: “Where are the tales about those who made a terrible mistake and now regret leaving their jobs? Where are the people who no longer have health insurance and are going bankrupt?” Others noted that the first two articles in the series did not include any subjects who were balancing work with parenthood. And though we did report on people who had become burned out in their jobs, we didn’t address any specific fields in which burnout is perhaps most likely.The criticisms were valid — and got us thinking. So we crafted a second solicitation, hoping to address some of those concerns. We got more specific, asking about burnout, particularly for teachers and nurses. We addressed parent …

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