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Employees: The Great Resignation

Have you heard about the ‘Great Resignation’?

As an employee you may be part of this global trend without knowing it. If you’ve spent serious time during COVID-19 re-evaluating your life, your career and even your current job—and have even already drafted a resignation letter because you want to move on—then you’re part of the movement.

What is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is a term covering a trend in the United States. COVID-19 has led millions of people, from all industries and at all levels, to decide to resign from their job. It’s not just a US issue. It’s a global issue.

While figures vary and  views on when the Great Resignation will hit Australia ‘big time’ vary, most experts agree that close to half of workers across the country will be looking for a new opportunity in the next year or so.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Kate Prior, was interviewed by ABC Radio’s Dan Boucher in Canberra on the Great Resignation on 30 September–covering employee and employer perspectives and focusing on the ACT market. Kate suggests that employees wanting to secure a new role should ask themselves these questions.

Why do I want to move?

Resigning is a big deal so be clear in your own mind on why you want to move and whether the position you’ve secured, or are looking for, suits.

Through the pandemic, many employees have thought about these reasons for resigning. Reasons include the desire to:

  • avoid long hours and stress and, instead, concentrate on wellbeing and flexibility
  • spend their working life doing something completely different
  • land a job they 100% enjoy doing, even if this means downsizing to fewer hours and assuming less responsibility
  • take advantage of the benefits of working from home, learned during lockdowns
  • be treated as humans with real needs, not just as workers getting paid to do a job.

All these reasons are legit. The key, however, is to ensure your next position ticks all the boxes. In other words, be proactive in your analysis. Don’t be reactive and seize the first opportunity that pops up, even if it means a big raise.

Read more:

Time to dive into a career change?

How to start a new career you love

Is the grass always greener on the other side?

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You may be able to secure more money, for example, but will you pay a price for that? Will you end up working mega hours and be stressed out with more responsibility? Will you be moving into a fast-paced, continually shifting work environment that is so frenetic you’ll be 100% stressed out 100% of the time?

Should I re-negotiate my current position?

If you get head hunted in this highly competitive market, or find a position that is attractive on your own, take time to assess how you truly feel about your current role. Are you settled and happy? If so, consider talking to your boss about your offer. Be honest and see if the organisation you’re working for can make a counter-offer. Before starting the discussion, however, think through what’s important. Is it:

  1. strictly money
  2. more flexible work arrangements
  3. better work benefits
  4. new opportunities.

Deciding what you want in advance will keep the discussion with your boss more focused.

And don’t forget that you don’t immediately have to accept another job right away even though it might seem attractive.  Here’s what to consider.

How do I resign professionally?

Whatever you do, take quitting seriously and get it right so you don’t burn bridges. No matter what your reason for resigning, you need to be professional in how you exit. Doing so will protect your reputation and make you feel more comfortable about leaving.

Quitting a job: Tips for getting it right

Do employees have all the leverage in today’s market?

Employees may have more leverage in the Great Resignation but they don’t have all the leverage. Don’t be so pushy in negotiations that you end up with no job.

How do I get ready to find another position?

Read the expert articles on this website on related topics such as polishing your resume, tidying up your online presence, improving your LinkedIn profile and preparing for interview.

Here are some that will help and many more are available:

Three skills to polish your resume

22 top interview questions: Update

Why tailored resumes are best dressed

Does your LinkedIn profile shine?

Strategic questions to ask at a job interview

Time to get yourself resume ready

Do employers look at social media profiles?

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