Lots of people quit in 2021. Like, a lot. Month after month, a record number of people put their tools away, shut their laptops, took off their badges, handed in their two week’s notice or simply walked out the door and didn’t go back.
We were curious — what did people leave their jobs to do next? What careers piqued their interest, what training programs did they pursue? We looked at Google Search trends to get an idea.
The first thing we noticed was how global this experience has been. The “Great Resignation” of 2021 is usually talked about as an American phenomenon, but Search trends suggest that people everywhere were looking to leave their jobs. The top countries searching for “how to leave your job” come from five different continents: The Philippines is at the top, followed by South Africa, then the U.S., Australia and the U.K.
Search trends also reveal what career paths people are interested in. To find this out, we looked at the jobs people searched for alongside the phrase “how to become,” such as “how to become an astronaut.” Trends showed us that over the past year, people were most interested in jobs that involve helping others, travel and working in real estate — ideally in a role that doesn’t require a traditional boss. .
Most-searched “how to become” jobs — January 2021-January 2022
- Real estate agent
- Flight attendant
- Personal trainer
- Physical therapist
When drilling down to look at the most-searched “how to become…” jobs in each U.S. state, there were some distinct regional trends. People in the South and Midwest were interested in becoming a notary (with the exception of several Appalachian states). Large portions of the Northeast, Northern Midwest and Western U.S. were interested in real estate careers.
Notably, only two states’ most-searched jobs did not include notary, real estate agent, electrician or pilot: New Mexico, where people were most interested in becoming a flight attendant, and Montana, where people sought information about personal training over any other profession.
We also looked at Search trends related to professional certifications and training programs. Similar to the “how to become” trends, these showed that people are interested in real estate. We also learned that people are interested in jobs involving hair and beauty, medical assisting and data analytics.
Top trending professional certifications and training programs in the U.S. — January 2021-January 2022
- Google data analytics professional certificate
- NCMA certification
- Child development associate certification
- Eyelash technician training program
- Electrician training program
- Real estate training program
- Barber training program
Finding a new job on Search
If you’re one of the many people who left their job in recent months, here are some tips for finding your next gig on Search:
- Search for any job and a dedicated section will appear with opportunities from employers and job boards across the web. Use filters to sort by title, location, date posted and more.
- Customize your job search to your experience level, or to the benefits or job environment you want. Try searching “WFH jobs” or “no experience jobs near me.”
- See jobs specific to your educational background by adding your field of study to your job search, such as “jobs for history majors.” And try “no degree jobs” to see opportunities that don’t require a bachelor’s.
- Keep a lookout for the “Actively Hiring" filter that shows jobs from employers that are hiring a lot right now.
- Save jobs you want to come back to by tapping the bookmark icon on any posting. Find jobs you’ve saved in the “Saved” tab of the job search tool on the web, or in the Collections tab of the Google app on iOS and Android.