Melissa Villareal was teaching history to middle schoolers at a private school in a rich California suburb when the pandemic broke out. It was a career she enjoyed and a field she was passionate about. She’s now quit teaching to work in industrial design for a huge beauty brand, just over a year later. People like Villareal are quitting their jobs in droves.

People are seeking a change for a variety of reasons, termed the “Great Resignation” by some economists. The pandemic shifted some workers’ priorities, motivating them to pursue a “dream job” or transfer to being a stay-at-home parent. Many others, on the other hand, made the decision to leave because of how their employer handled them during the pandemic. This was the situation for Villareal, who returned to the classroom after only a brief break. Due to differing limitations, private schools in the United States were able to return to in-person instruction much sooner than public schools. Villareal was concerned about her safety, and she saw an increase in stress and effort while she was juggling both in-person and remote learners at the same time. Her issues didn’t seem to be handled or even heard.

First and foremost, employees are leaving because of how their companies treated them – or did not treat them – during the pandemic. Workers eventually chose to stay at companies that provided support over those that did not. Workers who may have been on the verge of abandoning their jobs due to a bad business culture before the pandemic were pushed to the breaking point.