Workers are switching industries more frequently as they look for positions with greater meaning. This widespread movement teaches us a lot about how people view their work.

Marcin, 33, was aware that his profession needed a drastic shake-up. The New Jersey-based auditor had become weary of a desk job where his only face-to-face communication was via email and his primary daily task was to support a corporation’s bottom line. He claimed that he was essentially searching for human errors to recover money for clients while performing the same repetitive tasks every day while sorting through vast amounts of data. He didn’t like his coworkers, and it seemed pointless to him. Marcin decided to pursue nursing instead of auditing. By October 2021, after putting in three years of grueling community college study and one year of nursing school, he had accepted a position in an intensive-care unit at a hospital. He’s now responsible for taking care of sick and vulnerable patients rather than lounging around the office on the computer. He was content despite how demanding, difficult, and unpleasant it was. He used to return home drained and irritated. He now feels that his work has greater significance when his head strikes the pillow.

Following the Great Resignation, millions of workers are shifting to new roles. Some are seeking better pay or more flexibility; others are job hopping to accelerate their career progression. However, a large number of workers are changing careers entirely. According to a July 2022 global survey of nearly 2,000 workers by McKinsey & Company, 48% of those who quit their job in the past two years have moved to a different sector.