What is the Great Resignation of 2022?
Going into 2022, the phenomenon known as the Great Resignation continues; in December 2021 alone, 4.3 million American workers quit their jobs. Many experts blame the stress of the pandemic.
However, while lockdowns and supply chain issues had a massive impact on the labor force, other workers have resigned as they reassess their lives. The stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits gave laid-off workers time to reevaluate their priorities. And many found that their skills translated to remote work, which they could do on a freelance basis.
All industries have been impacted, and the labor shortage has given new bargaining power to employees. Arenas such as manufacturing, education, health care, marketing, hotel, and tourism have been some of the most heavily affected.
Let’s look at the future of work and the future of marketing post-Great Resignation.
Many Workers Face Uncertainty
In general, changing jobs is more complicated than simply saying “I quit.” For many people, the timing needs to be right, and they need to have a new job lined up. Many who were laid-off during the shutdowns did not have that option. Also, essential workers can no longer withstand the stress imposed by the danger of contracting Covid-19, which many had to cope with during 2020. Not everyone has had the luxury of being able to take their time to transition.
For those who can, this has been a time to transition to remote work and freelancing. Even some doctors and nurses have been able to transition to remote work via telemedicine.
Those who do not have skills that can translate to remote work might find they have more leverage with potential employers. Employers who are desperate for workers are offering flexible hours, sign-on bonuses, and other benefits.
While the job market still seems uncertain, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. White-collar workers now have expanded remote opportunities, and pink- and blue-collar workers have more leverage.
The Great Resignation Turned Marketing on Its Head
Many businesses were hard hit by the shutdowns, and lay-offs and cutbacks that hit their marketing departments hard. Many companies shifted away from employing a full-time, in-house marketing team, opting to hire freelancers piecemeal.
Marketing agencies also took a hit during the pandemic, as marketing professionals became concerned over not just how much they make but how they make that salary. While the reaction to the pandemic was bad for in-house and agency marketers, it was something of a boon to freelancers and fractional CMOs. Though many of their assignments now may be short-term, freelancers and fractional CMOs have the opportunity to work remotely and set their own schedules.
Now that restrictions are easing, creative marketing is needed to get certain businesses back on track. This is especially true for those in the travel and hospitality industries. While small businesses can benefit from hiring freelancers, larger businesses can benefit from hiring a fractional CMO.
Freelance Marketer vs Fractional CMO
A fractional CMO (fractional chief marketing officer) has executive-level skills and manages a company’s marketing team. Fractional CMOs are usually hired by larger companies as contractors. The length of the contract can vary from a few months to a few years. Also, while fractional CMOs usually work remotely, they can also work in-house.
On the other hand, freelance marketers work independently, and they are not in charge of a team. A freelance marketer might specialize, such as in social media marketing, or have a wider set of skills. Hiring a freelance marketer on an as-needed basis is an affordable choice for small businesses.
Fractional Marketing is the Future, Post-Great Resignation
Moving forward, it’s likely that a fractional CMO will direct a team of freelance marketers who also work remotely. In fact, says Codrin Arsene from Digital Authority Partners ‘’fractional marketing is the future, as we move beyond the Great Resignation.’’ It’s an affordable option for both big and small companies.
Fractional marketing is scalable, which is ideal for businesses recovering from the shutdowns. A fractional marketing team can be hired short-term as contractors; this means, you won’t need to worry about paying benefits or unemployment insurance. Also, if a fractional team underperforms, you can simply let the contract end and move on.
A knowledgeable fractional CMO will be able to assemble a team of highly-skilled freelancers to tackle a business’ marketing. As assignments are completed, new team members with specialized marketing skills can be brought in. Fractional marketing is dynamic and flexible, quickly evolving as a business’ marketing campaign evolves.
Fractional marketing will become preferred, as businesses recover and the job market continues to evolve.
The Great Resignation has Reset the Workplace
The post-COVID world will not go back to the old normal. While the pandemic prompted mass lay-offs and voluntary resignations, it also opened a window of opportunity. Many people made the transition to remote work, either for a company or as a freelancer.
Just as workers have needed to adapt, so have businesses. Many office workers are now working remotely from home, and some businesses have turned to freelance and fractional marketing. Retail and hospitality workers also will find they have more leverage to set flexible schedules and ask for more pay.
We are now moving into the era of the Great Reshuffle, as workers move through different jobs until they find one that suits them. It will take years for the workplace to completely reset; both employees and employers are in a state of flux. Hopefully, this will result in more fulfilling careers for millions of people who find themselves unemployed. But only time will tell how the post-pandemic workplace develops. One thing that is certain is that freelancing, remote work, and fractional marketing are here to stay.
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