Updated: September 16, 2021 10:37 PM
Created: September 16, 2021 09:43 PM
For 15 years, Scott Buckingham spent a lot of time in restaurants.
He was a host, server, bartender, and manager. But now he's none of those things.
"I made the transition last year," Buckingham said. "I was working still in the restaurant industry, but I was also selling houses on the side there. And it became a thing where with COVID, it was kind of the wink that I needed that it was time to move on."
He was furloughed and his hours were cut. He enjoyed the people he worked with, but the long hours and shifts on weekends and holidays were becoming a burden.
"Becoming a dad was kind of the end of it for me," he said.
Buckingham is one of millions of Americans who have left their jobs during the pandemic. In July, 3.98 million Americans quit their jobs.
"Part of that is making up for missed time of people that would have quit their jobs a year ago but didn't because of the pandemic," Director of Workforce Development Elena Foshay said.
She said her office has heard from people opting to quit for many reasons. They may have re-assessed and decided they wanted to do something different, they might be high-risk for COVID-19 and seeking remote work, they may want to make a move, or their childcare needs could have changed.
That was a big part of the reason Scott Buckingham made the move to real estate.
"With COVID, it's next to impossible to find daycare for a newborn," he said. "So for my wife and I, it made sense for us both to work from home and kind of just back-and-forth with the child."
Whatever the reason, Foshay said it's a good time to look because pretty much every sector is hiring.
"Now is a good time to change jobs because there's jobs everywhere," Foshay said. "A lot of employers are struggling so much to hire that they've raised wages, they've added hiring bonuses, they've changed benefits, they've changed work hours."
But she cautioned people against quitting too quickly.
"It takes time. You have to apply, you have to interview," she said. "It is a bit of a competitive job market for some positions."
CareerForce offers online workshops and a free 30-minute one-on-one job counseling session for anyone in the region.
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