Companies facing a record wave of resignations – The great resignation arrives in France



Lauriane, 35, had worked for ten years as a sales assistant in the automotive industry. Before her first delivery, she had just been promoted to head of her department. “A good box, a salary, a house: I was in my comfort zone”, rewinds this mother of two children, who lives in Landéda (29). And then covid-19 turned this “little routine” upside down. “I found myself at home for three months, without telecommuting, with nothing. I asked myself many questions about my added value in society. My partner is a farmer. I told him: “You, you feed people, your work makes sense. I sell dreams, nothing more”.

Lauriane went from sales assistant in the auto industry to funeral director. (Photo David Le Saos)

The feeling of being useful

That’s when Lauriane was contacted by a funeral director looking to recruit. “I accepted the interview out of curiosity: the sector of activity appealed to me but taking risks was not very conceivable. However, meeting the one who would become my boss was a no-brainer. After a week of reflection, I tendered my resignation. »

For a year, Lauriane has been a funeral agent and agency director. Welcoming families, transporting the deceased, preparing coffins, driving hearses, supervising ceremonies… “I found myself! “, the young woman enthuses, evoking a “versatile” profession that “makes her vibrate” and “transcends” her. “I accompany loved ones from A to Z, as best as possible, in a difficult time. We can face death, it’s the liveliest profession in the world.” She is the icing on the cake: far from losing salary, she earns a little more than before, and her work is five minutes from her house.

Mathilde, a former lab technician, has become a bicycle mechanic.
Mathilde, a former lab technician, became a bicycle mechanic. (Photo Pierre Becam)

hobby work

Like Lauriane, many of them, during the health crisis, questioned the meaning of their lives and realized that their work did not satisfy them. Like Mathilde, 27, from Fouesnant (29), a laboratory technician for several years in the agri-food sector. “I liked what she was doing, but nothing else. The isolation imposed by the pandemic made me feel the need to exercise a profession that is more in contact with the public, and for which I have a true passion”, analyzes this triathlon fan converted to… bicycle mechanics.

The wave of resignations hitting France is probably less massive than the one hitting the United States, but we may only be at the beginning of an upward movement. Dares Latest Stats (Statistics service of the Ministry of Labor) show an increase in the number of resignations of employees with indefinite contracts, last July, of 19.4% compared to 2019, and an increase of 25.8% in early terminations of fixed-term contracts. “In the third quarter of 2021, the resignations of permanent contracts clearly exceeded their pre-crisis levels and this dynamism continued in October,” Dares observes in his latest publication, in early February.

Paradigm shift

“The CDI is no longer the holy grail it once was,” confirms David Beaurepaire, CEO ofhello work. The French leader in digital job search currently registers more than 500,000 job offers per month, something “unheard of”. A dynamism of the market that makes “we stop rejecting certain choices and that we no longer hesitate to resign”, analyzes this specialist, “especially between 20-35 years”. In fact, the balance of power has been reversed. “During the hiring phase and, in many industries, labor shortages, candidates have much more control.” Both in working conditions and in the level of remuneration.

Because this is another effect – also a pandemic – of covid-19: 43% of employees are likely to change jobs this year, according to a study conducted by Microsoft with 31,000 people in 31 countries. That doesn’t mean they will. But it confirms the fact that priorities have changed. Thus, 53% of those surveyed say they are more inclined than before to put their health and well-being before work.

David has traded his office overlooking the recycling center for a seaside stall in Saint-Malo.
David has traded his office overlooking the recycling center for a seaside stall in Saint-Malo. (D. Bouville Collection)

job dissatisfaction

The phenomenon affects all socio-professional categories and all sectors of activity, both the difficult and often poorly paid jobs in the hotel industry and the white collars in large accounting firms: 41% of managers have considered resigning, according to the ifop barometerFreelance.com 2022. A wave of “job spleen” that convinced many of our readers to change course.

The lack of recognition and prospects overcame the teaching vocation of Jerome, 45, a physical education teacher in the Briochin region. After ten years as a subcontracted worker in National Education, “to serve as a palliative and chain fixed-term contracts in three distant establishments at the same time”, he threw in the towel and has just launched a painting-decoration company.

David, 54, a quality technician and project supplier at Renault, took advantage of a support plan at the beginning to turn his back on “guidelines, repeated reorganizations and video conferences that ended the relationship.” After a year of teleworking and reflection, he changed his office “view of the waste disposal center” for the beach, in Saint-Malo (35). He economically left feathers there but he assures that he does not regret it. His new job: “janitor at a vacation home.”

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