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What You Need to Know

  • One popular phrase, prefix or suffix can inspire more.
  • Think, X, i and 360 show up all over the place.
  • Maybe this is a great time for a simple, size-related adjective to spread...

Remember the first time you heard the expression: “The Great Resignation?” Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist, gets the credit for inventing the expression.

We bought into the logic after the pandemic lockdown, people were rethinking what was important in their lives.

Many people seem to have decided it’s time to leave the workforce.

What are some other “Greats” we might see in the future? (Let’s forbid the expressions “Great Depression” and “Great Recession” from appearing on this list.)

Will you be the first one to coin one of these expressions?

Here are 12 of my attempts.

1. The Great Escape

It does not take much.

The U.S. federal government eliminated the requirement for airline passengers to have proof of a negative COVID test before they could enter (or re-enter) the country Sunday. Now that the requirement is gone, many Americans will buy plane tickets to travel to Europe, and the Caribbean.

Vacation travel could grow even more once certain airports which have let service levels slip recover.

2. The Great Retirement

This ties into the Great Resignation.

The most recent bull market lasted about 11 years, and, in spite of all of the volatility, many savers’ balances are still high.

Investors who were heavily committed to the stock market in their investment and retirement accounts might decide working is no longer a requirement. They decide to retire early.

3. The Great Promotion

Who is retiring? Senior, experienced people making good money.

Put another way, your boss and their boss.

Suddenly there is upward mobility for younger managers.

Almost everyone in middle management gets a bigger office, a larger salary and a better bonus.

4. The Great Reallocation

Imagine the perfect scenario.

Interest rates rise to 8% and the stock market keeps going up.

(OK, this requires a lot of imagination.) Many people shift out of the stock market and buy bonds (fixed income) that will provide an 8% return in retirement.

Suddenly a comfortable retirement is within reach.

5. The Great Restructuring

Companies have a hard time recruiting workers.

You see help wanted signs on businesses everywhere.

Businesses can be pretty nimble.

Bearing in mind labor is often their largest expense, they figure out how to do more with less.

They either reorganize and trip their workforce or they decide they do not need to hire after all.

6. The Great Return to the Office

Working from home makes sense, but it loosens the bonds that tie employees to their company and build firm loyalty.

Distance also hinders collaboration.

Office politics suffers, which might be a good thing.

Suppose once it was safe, the pendulum swung back to working from offices to improve productivity?

7. The Great Return to the Workforce

Suppose inflation stuck around for a while.

People who were just barely able to live comfortably in retirement suddenly couldn’t make ends meet.

Early retirement looked attractive, but not when prices on everything are rising.

Many people decide to go back to their former careers or take on part time work.

8. The Great Reprioritization

Not everyone decides they need to return to the workforce.

Many people decide to take a good, hard look at their finances, understand where their money is going and reprioritize how and where they spend their money.

They find cheaper gas stations and supermarkets with lower pricing.

9. The Great Renovation

Property prices continue to increase.

Many people decide putting money into their current home makes economic sense.

Contractors prosper as people build additions, add decks, renovate kitchens and update bathrooms.

10. The Great Downsizing

Those property price increases remind people they are living in their largest asset.

Once the children have left the nest, some people decide to sell their big house on a big lot for big bucks, then move into a smaller home, possibly in a retirement community.

It might even be in a state with a lower cost of living.

11. The Great Insuring

Because of rising house prices and an inflation driven increase in the replacement cost of almost everything, many Americans suddenly realize they are underinsured.

They decide they need to increase the coverage on their insurance policies.

12. The Great Remasking

Life has largely returned to normal in many parts of the United States.

You see fewer and fewer masks on people in stores.

This has generally been expected in warmer months, but risks may increase in colder months when most people spend time indoors.

When you consider monkeypox and the possibility of new strains of COVID, seeing a renewed mask mandate in the coming months is not beyond the realm of possibility.

These are only a few developments that might be designated as “The Great.”

You can probably think of many more yourself! Then maybe history will give you the credit for inventing the next “great” expression.


Pictured: A woman thinking about all of the nouns that could be transformed by adding one short adjective… (Image: fizkes/Adobe Stock)


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