The pandemic has ushered in broad-ranging societal change including fueling a trend that has become known as ‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Big Quit’, where employees are reviewing what they value, reassess your career and are looking for in a job and in some cases, leaving in search of greener pastures.
While the trend originated in America, with a record 4.4 million people quitting their jobs in the States in late 2021, we are also seeing signs of the trend in Australia.i Of 1800 Australian workers surveyed as part of a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, 38 per cent said they are looking for a new job.ii
Meanwhile, employers are struggling to fill positions in many industries. That’s great news for job seekers or those wanting to make a change. In fact, 70% of employers are willing to hire and train someone with transferable skills, according to Monster’s 2021 Future of Work Report.iii
If you are one of the many who are taking a long, hard look at their current role, here are some things to consider.
What’s your motivation?
While it is theorized that The Great Resignation is largely fueled by pandemic induced burnout, other factors contributing to the trend also include the shift to working from home and the need for greater work-life balance.
The other strong motivation for making a move, is wanting to feel that you are being adequately compensated for your efforts. Of those surveyed for the PwC report, 25 per cent cited remuneration and reward as the key driving force behind a move.
Do your research and take your time
It’s important to do your research before taking a leap to avoid moving to a new role or sector and finding that the grass is not greener. Try to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to a current situation and think strategically and longer term. Consider where you want to be in the next 5 or 10 years and develop a set of goals you would like to achieve.
It’s also not a bad idea to examine what alternatives there are to making a move. Depending on your situation, it may be worth exploring if there are prospects for movement within your current organisation.
Alternatively, if you are motivated by lifestyle considerations, is it possible to have a chat to your boss about the change you are seeking and see whether they can accommodate it? You may be able to tweak your current responsibilities to help achieve the life you want without the upheaval of a move.
Consider the financials
It’s important to consider the cost of resignation. Will you need to allow for some time with no, or reduced income as you search for a new role or build up a client base? Is there likely to be a gap between you leaving and taking on the new position? Do you need to build your savings to a certain level to support you on a career break or while you build your own business?
Whether you’ll be earning more – or less – you need to factor a different level of remuneration into your plans. If you’ll be on a little more than your previous role, what do you plan to do with the extra cash? If it’s less, how do you plan to make ends meet and are you comfortable with the potential impact of less disposable income on your lifestyle?
Setting yourself up for a move
Once you’ve figured out your career goal, look at what changes and steps you can take to help you get there. Look at your prospects in a new field or organisation. How transferable are your skills? Do you need to undertake further training or education? Could you engage a mentor to help you on your way?
Cultivating a network can help with career progression so set aside time to develop and extend your contacts in your field or in your area of interest.
To help you land that new role, freshen up your CV and brush up on your interview skills. Think about how best to communicate your suitability for the role or roles you want.
The past couple of years have forced many of us to take a long hard look at our priorities and what’s important to us. Think about what YOU want in terms of your career and lifestyle, and if you feel that it’s time for a change – go for it!