The Great Resignation: Has the global trend reached Singapore?

People around the world seem to be leaving their jobs in droves as they rethink priorities as the Covid-19 pandemic wears on.

While this may not be the case here, work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to locals. Some sectors bear watching even as the economy recovers.

The Sunday Times examines the issue.

The Great Singapore Resignation: Fact or myth?

It is a trend that has been called "The Big Quit", "The Great Resignation", or even "Lying Flat", as scores of people in countries around the world leave their jobs.

A QuitTok fad has even popped up on social media, with people posting about their resignations on video platform TikTok.

In Singapore, however, although the term has gained popularity as well, official data shows that there has been no Great Resignation so far.


Stay or go? Quest for better quality of life pushing some to rethink priorities

The uncertainties and disruptions of the pandemic have prompted many people to re-evaluate their priorities, with some taking the decisive step of quitting their jobs in pursuit of a better quality of life, observers say.

This is likely a key reason that the average monthly resignation rate for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) crept up to a seven-year high of 1.5 per cent in the third quarter last year. It was 1.3 per cent in the third quarters of 2018 and 2019.

These Manpower Ministry figures cover employees of all nationalities and include those who switched jobs as well as those who stopped working.


Singapore salary guide: Are you getting paid as well as your peers?

See how you benchmark against your peers and explore the most in-demand job skills with this interactive.


What to do if you are thinking about changing jobs

Leaving a job is a big decision.

Whether you feel underpaid, need better working arrangements or just want to take a break, here are some things to consider before you make up your mind, and tips on how to make a graceful exit.


Battle for tech talent driving up salaries, staff attrition, say observers

Mr Deepak Sarda, 39, took the plunge in September last year to leave a global tech company - where he was head of developer solutions architecture for Asean - to join fintech start-up Endowus as vice-president of engineering.

"As the business is at the hyper-growth stage, we have the opportunity to onboard the right tech and engineering assets and talent, as well as greater intelligence and automation capabilities to bring innovative offerings to our clients. And this is an incredible journey to be a part of," says the Singaporean.


Ex-defence lawyer who aspires to be a business leader

Lawyer Ng Shi Yang's career was ready to enter the fast lane when he was offered a partnership at a law firm, but the young legal eagle did the unthinkable and walked away from the prestigious offer.

Mr Ng, then 32 and a senior defence lawyer with the Law Society's Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS), decided instead to take a left turn and try his hand in the business world.

Mr Ng, the father of two young girls, told The Sunday Times last week that he wanted to be the person making the decisions and creating the businesses, not the one writing the contracts. "It was a matter of personal aspiration."


Nurses in demand as hospitals try to attract, retain staff

Nurses are in great demand, but many, particularly those from overseas, have called it quits. Homesick, anxious and plain exhausted, they are choosing to be with their families over building a career here, say hospital colleagues.

Late last year, the suspension barring healthcare workers from taking leave overseas was lifted, but the rigours of dealing with the healthcare crisis were still too much for some.

“Even though they can go back to spend time with the family for one or two weeks, when will be the next time they can go back?” asks Ng Teng Fong General Hospital’s assistant nurse clinician Guo Sasa, who manages 16 to 17 nurses.


Work takes a heavy toll but some hotel staff soldier on

The hospitality industry had been Ms Wong’s sweet spot for 20 years, and the thought of a change had never entered her mind.

But the ravages of the pandemic soon prompted the senior events manager to quit her job at a five-star hotel. 

Covid-19 had realigned her priorities and Ms Wong, as she wants to be known, felt stressed out and unhappy after eight gruelling months dealing with the outbreak and increasingly fraught staff issues, so she left to be a stay-home mum.


Electronics manufacturers in S'pore face staff crunch amid attrition

With business picking up as the economy recovers, Mr Albert Loh, chief executive of electronics manufacturer PTS Technologies, is looking to expand his staff strength by 30 to 40 per cent this year to meet growing demand.

But he is facing a big challenge in attracting local workers skilled in electronics engineering, especially with competition from multinational corporations (MNCs).

"Young people or those who are more ambitious tend to want to join MNCs because they think the opportunities are better there. SMEs are always at the bottom of the food chain," he says, referring to small and medium-sized businesses like his.


In Asia, hiring in tech sector is booming

Hiring in the technology sectors in several countries in Asia is booming, even as regulatory clampdowns on the industry have dampened employment sentiment in China, the world's second largest economy after the United States.

Companies are dangling perks, such as workcations, to draw talent, with many continuing to hire remote positions or bringing in expatriates amid the pandemic.


Work-life balance a growing priority for Americans

When Ms Audie Cornish, host of the high-profile show All Things Considered, announced on Twitter that she was quitting National Public Radio (NPR), the conclusion most people drew was that she had an epiphany of sorts.

She said it herself on Twitter this month: "I am joining many of you in 'The Great Resignation'," she wrote. "It's a risk. And that's okay. I look forward to new opportunities." Days later came the announcement that she had joined CNN.

In fact the move was typical; while millions of Americans have quit their jobs in the past year - roughly 33 million since the spring of 2021 - and some undoubtedly in a pivotal flash of insight, for most there is no such epiphany and no rejection of the idea of working.


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