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The global crisis that hit 2020 didn't spare anybody. Non-essential businesses had to either transition to a work-from-home setup or even completely shut down. This also means that to stay afloat, companies had to make the difficult decision of letting some people go, while those who remained had to work *extra* hard—with some even taking on multiple roles out of necessity.?

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Unfortunately, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, this means employee dissatisfaction has been?rising. Not every company responded to the crisis with kindness or empathy, after all. And while you may not be able to see yourself leaving the job you currently have, stressful and intense work situations can put things into perspective or cause someone to hit pause and rethink about their personal and professional priorities. Here, Pinays?share the reasons they left their jobs in the middle of a pandemic.?

  1. For Kim* it was a combination of factors, the first being severe anxiety.

    She told Cosmopolitan, "I used to have panic attacks every day and I couldn't sleep on time. Super bigat ng feeling. Not worth it yung pagod at grabe na yung extra hours, additional work, and crazy changes sa company." She also no longer trusted her manager, and good management is one of the main factors Kim considers for work. Though some people were upset about her decision, she knows that focusing on being okay should be a priority: "Feel ko na need ko na umalis bago pa ako maubos.?Mahirap maghanap ng work ngayon pero mas mahirap mag-work kung wala ka naman na sa sarili mo."

  2. Ella* decided to leave her job because of the "blurred boundary" between work and home.

    Pre-pandemic, her work was mainly on-site, so it was a struggle to find a way to do things remotely. There was also so much work that had to be done in a short amount of time. She recalled, "It was getting harder and harder to get a good rest after a really stressful week because it was the same setup every day. It started to really affect my mental health. It took me a long time to make a decision since I was scared na wala ako agad malipatan when I resign. But I was really miserable, even my family members noticed it."

    Similar to Kim's story, Ella mentioned that her previous employer could've actively found ways to give their employees some space to breathe: "Before, when employees left work, hindi na sila guguluhin or bukas na lang sila kakausapin regarding work. Since my job was at home na, even if it's past my work time for the day, if someone from work messaged me, there wasn't really any reason to not do the job since my computer is literally right beside my room. So it would be great if there could be a company-wide rule that people followed regarding work outside of the regular hours."

  3. Anna*, who now has a new job, wished her previous employer cared more about their mental health.

    She was?casually exploring other opportunities before the pandemic but only entertained the idea if she found something that really excited her.?Anna explained, "When the pandemic hit and we were put on lockdown, I was really dissatisfied with how the work flow was like in my company and how our management handled the mental health of the staff. I felt like there weren't adequate responses to combat the burnout we were feeling under the new WFH setup." At her new job, she shared that her company is open to the idea of taking mental health breaks: "Where I transferred, we have movie nights, karaoke nights, and bonding sessions over Zoom (but still part of the work day) so aside from it not eating into our rest time after business hours, I appreciate that they acknowledge that we should take a break every now and then."

  4. Salary and personal growth were the two factors Mona* had in mind when she decided to shift careers in the time of COVID-19.

    Having previously worked for an international retail brand, it was especially difficult for Mona when they shifted to a WFH setup with reduced hours (which also meant reduced pay). She said, "It was quite tough because it didn't seem like we were working for the hours we were getting paid for and adjusting to a WFH setup is quite hard for retail as we need to deal with matters in our stores personally, too."?

    Mona* has since accepted an offer for a job in a more "stable" industry than retail. She sees this as a "means of survival and practicality because we all have bills to pay at the end of the day." The lockdown also gave her the time and space to rethink her personal goals: "More than the salary, it was also the personal growth. Mine just came at the right time because I have been in the company for four years already and it was about time for me to explore my options. I was already too comfortable where I was."

*Names have been changed.?

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