Thinking of joining The Great Resignation? Do these things first

the great resignation

Everyone is talking about The Great Resignation. People are quitting jobs by the millions. Do these things before you join them.

You’ve probably heard about “The Great Resignation” by now. An unprecedented number of people have quit their jobs since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last six months alone, nearly 20 million North Americans have handed in their resignations.

In a survey conducted by McKinsey, 53% of employers said they are experiencing greater voluntary turnover than they have in previous years.  And this trend looks very likely to continue. Sixty-four percent of those employers expect the problem to continue, or worsen, over the next six months, and 40% of workers said they are at least somewhat likely to quit their jobs in the next 3-6 months.

Why are people quitting?

Many of the jobs people have quit in The Great Resignation are low paying and/or customer facing positions, like manufacturing, food service, hospitality, and retail, where employees are more at risk of contracting the coronavirus and of being subject to abuse from customers who take issue with business safety protocols like mask mandates.

When asked in the survey, the top reasons employees gave for quitting were not feeling valued by their organizations (54%) or their managers (52%), and not feeling a sense of belonging at work (51%). People also quit because of inadequate compensation, poor work–life balance, and poor physical and emotional health, but these were lower on the list.

Quitting without lining up a new gig

The survey also found that 36% of those who had quit in the past six months did so without finding a new job first, which is fundamentally different from previous downturn and recovery cycles. Healthcare and social assistance workers were more likely to have quit without lining up a new job, at 42%, an indicator of how serious the pandemic’s toll has been on frontline workers.

Sometimes people have to quit without lining up something new for the sake of their mental health and/or safety. This is understandable, but if you are in a position to prepare yourself, get some things organized, and even get a new job before quitting, you should do that.

There is a lot of talk about it being a “candidate’s market” right now, but that is in specific industries, and in others, people are still struggling to find work.

Five questions to ask yourself before quitting your job

Think you’re ready to jump ship? We recommend that you ask yourself the following questions before joining the great resignation.

  1. How do you wake up feeling in the morning?

Do you dread your day or do you wake up happy and raring to go? If your weekly refrain is “I hate Mondays!” followed by “Let’s just get through hump day,” and then “TGIF!”, that’s not ideal. If your job is making you miserable, that is not ideal. But that does not mean you should jump ship without preparation and planning. In the long run, losing your home and not being able to pay your bills can make you much more miserable

2. What are your three top priorities in a job?

Choose from the following or list your own:

Liking the company and its products and services
Feeling that there is meaning and purpose in your work
Personal growth, challenging work, and learning opportunities
Career advancement opportunities
Workplace community and culture
Other (specify)

How does your current job measure up when it comes to these priorities?

We’re assuming your job does not meet all these priorities or you wouldn’t be considering quitting, but does it meet some of them?  Ask yourself if you’re just antsy vs in a truly untenable situation.

Could you change something in your current position to improve it?

If you’re adequately compensated, for example, but lacking meaning and purpose in your work, perhaps you could take up a hobby or start volunteering? Or maybe this is an opportunity to push for a volunteer program where you already work.

Or, if you like your colleagues and feel fulfilled in your job, but need more money, it might be as simple as asking for a raise. If you dislike your boss but are otherwise happy, could you improve that relationship or try to move to another team or department?

Will a new job will better meet these priorities?

Are you certain that a new job will fix your situation? You’ve heard the expression “wherever you go, there you are.” Ask yourself if changing jobs will really fix the problem.

Are you qualified for that job?

If you’re in the market for a better-paid or more fulfilling or challenging position, are you certain that you have the skills and qualifications for it?

What do you have to do to get what you need?

You might have to balance your budget, pay down some debt, or cut some expenses before you can reasonably take the risk of leaving your job. Or you might need to upskill or take a course to better qualify for the position you want. Maybe you’re ready to just start applying for new positions. Or maybe, rather than finding a new job, you plan to start your own business. In that case, you should write a business plan and do some market research before taking the leap.

If it can be avoided, don’t quit your job in haste or on a whim. Plan and prepare as best you can to better position yourself for future success.

Start looking for a job with CareerBeacon before you quit!

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