The Great Resignation: Working multiple jobs for the same pay

There has been a lot of upheaval in the job market in the last 20 months. From entire states shutting down to businesses going remote to mass furloughs or layoffs. It’s been tough. Things have drastically changed for employers and job seekers. During this time many people quit, were promoted, left their industry, started a business or relocated. A new phrase emerged, “The Great Resignation.” Since spring  2021 scores of people have voluntarily left their jobs.

In this new multi-part series, we will hear from people all over sharing about their experiences. Our first voice is that of “Jaycee,” who has been with her current employer since 2019. 

More than one job

Young Businessman Doing Multitasking Work At Workplace

During the pandemic, Jaycee was promoted. Several months after her promotion she was able to move to the correct office for her position. Jaycee was training for her new role while still actively doing her previous job, plus training her replacement. 

“A couple of us who have been here longer [had] to learn how to do several jobs to help pick up the slack,” she said. Across industries, this trend of everyone pitching in is happening more and more frequently. To fill the gaps of unfilled positions, current staff are asked to take on more and more, on top of their daily duties.

Hiring problems

Jaycee said hiring became a nightmare. Applicants began ghosting interviews, leaving many positions unfilled. According to FastCompany in 2020, 28% of applicants ghosted, or never showed up, for an interview or job. Why are applicants doing this? There are many suggested reasons from unemployment to wage issues to lack of trust. Job seekers often lament they have been ghosted by an employer after an interview, never hearing about the job. Jaycee said in her industry, “everyone was scheduling interviews but no one was showing up for them.”

Added stress

Overworked businessman sitting at laptop overloaded with work multiple tasks in modern officeAt the height of it all, Jaycee said the entire experience added a lot of stress to her life. She was bringing work home on the weekends to try to catch up from the week.

“There was a time, especially during 2020 when other places were closed and … it was very easy to feel burnt out,” said Jaycee. “It seemed like a constant cycle of work, home, work, home.”

She said it’s gotten easier this year, but she’s still not 100% doing only her job. Jaycee knows that is a part of what is happening all over. “They know they can count on me to get my work done, as well as help with whatever I can,” said Jaycee. “I’m always open to learn new things because this company still runs 24/7 whether we have enough people here to do it or not.” 

Your library can help

Jaycee’s experience is heard time and time again across so many industries. Employees from all over have shared stories like this, with people juggling many requirements at once. Additionally, the Great Resignation has no end in sight. According to a recent article from USA Today, job openings have “topped 10 million for five straight months.” This may lead to more burnout amongst remaining employees. Now is a good time to make sure you have the right skills, resume and goals in mind to continue your professional journey. 

Book an appointment with a member of our Business and Careers Team, check out our online resources, and visit our Business and Legal Resource Center for handy how-to guides on resumes, cover letters and interview prep. 

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Meredith is the Business and Careers Librarian. Her focus is on helping people become entrepreneurs, find a job or career they enjoy, access legal information and become financially literate, and helping nonprofits with grant research. She is passionate about eliminating barriers to access in all forms through digital equity and equitable access to information. She loves to read mysteries, historical fiction and historical mysteries. When she isn't working she loves to spend time with her family and enjoys learning new things to keep her mind fresh.