Do you know the name Anthony Klotz?
He’s the Texas A&M professor and psychologist who coined the term, “the Great Resignation.” He said that the pandemic made people rethink their lives and that they were willing to stick it out in jobs that didn’t make them happy until the timing was right for a monumental change to take their lives and careers back.
So, while we were all staying close to home, riding out the Covid outbreak, workers everywhere were thinking, this is not what I want to be doing with my life. Still, with millions finding themselves unexpectedly unemployed, those continuing to take home a paycheck weren’t willing to take a chance. They hunkered down and waited for their time to come and according to many media outlets, that time is now!
This Great Resignation media frenzy may lead workers who’ve endured a strong dose of pandemic fatigue to make decisions they might regret. Many have (or will) tender their resignation, but not all for the right reasons. Despite what you’ve heard about companies lacking job candidates for current openings, employers are not hiring as fast as you would think. They too, are rethinking their options.
Before you make a move you might regret, indulge in a little self-reflection about why you are seeking new employment. Know your specific reasons for looking.
- Are you unhappy? Why do you think that is?
- Is it the company…your boss…the workplace culture?
- Are your skills being under-utilized? Do you feel under-valued?
- Is your job boring on intellectually stifling?
- Is the commute too long or are you unwilling to go back to an office and prefer to
Whatever the reason, you should consider if any of these irritants are fixable.
No company wants to lose people right now. Have a dialogue with your manager or HR and see if there is room to improve your work situation.
The best scenario is to always look for a job while you have job. It’s not easy, but it keeps the paycheck coming. Plus, sometimes seeing what’s out there will help you decide that your situation is or isn’t as bad as you thought. If after all that thinking you are still determined to go, then do it with a plan.
Brian Green, Vice President of LLoyd Information Technology advises job seekers to keep a checklist during their job search. Measure each potential opening or actual interview against your list of reasons why you wanted a change. Evaluate how the prospective employer matches up with your newly defined needs. Green cautions, “There is nothing worse than being in a new job that doesn’t live up to expectations because you were reckless in your due diligence.”
When that happens, you are likely to be an unfortunate victim of new job remorse.
This is when you bring out your “reasons for leaving” list so that each time you feel pangs of remorse you can take a look and remind yourself of the “pros” (instead of the “cons”) of the new position. Hopefully, you made a move for the right reason and not because you felt pressured by news stories or an imagined sense of workplace Xanadu.
By the way, if you are working with a Recruiter, they will appreciate that you’ve carefully examined why you are leaving a role and what you want in a new position. They want to place you in a position where your needs are met and both you and your new employer are satisfied with your hire. That’s why it’s essential you ask questions during the interview process:
- Why is the position vacant?
• Is the person who previously held this job still employed here?
• May I have a written job description?
• If you tell me one year from now that I’ve done a great job, what will that have meant to you?
Knowing the employer’s expectations and how yours match up is critical to success.
Any hesitations offered by the prospective employer answering these questions should pose a red flag before you accept the offer.
Employers recognize that new hires need to feel comfortable in their new work environments quickly to avoid turnover. Employee onboarding now encompasses orientation, mentoring, peer networking, coworker socializing and ongoing training. According to SHRM, statistics show that 90% of new employees decide whether to leave within six months of hiring.
An organization that has just spent considerable time hiring you, has made an investment in your anticipated job satisfaction. So, if you give it three weeks and you’re still unhappy, speak with your supervisor. If your boss is unable or unwilling to help you, approach Human Resources for support. HR’s job (or Talent Acquisition) is to recruit and retain talent, so they are going to do their best to accommodate a new hire to avoid the hassles, cost and lost productivity of finding a replacement
Green acknowledges that there is no perfect job, but that knowing what you want and expect from your career will help you assess your priorities and your situation. Says Green, “People need to give anything new some time. It’s like the kid who goes to camp and cries to go home the first week and then doesn’t want to leave at the end of summer. It takes some risk to find what you are looking for, but if you know your job wish list, it’s unlikely you’ll regret your decision after you get past the adjustment to your new surroundings and culture. Only you know what feeds your career satisfaction and makes for a good work/life balance. Think about this hard and do your homework so you keep moving forward and don’t look back in regret.”