How You Can Make the Most of the Great Resignation
My guess is if you stopped to read this, you are likely thinking about your next career move. Is that right? I guess there’s a reason you’re leaving your job.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the job market you know we’re amid the Great Resignation. It’s been written about in pretty much every other major media outlet. People are leaving their jobs in record numbers. While some are dropping out of the workforce completely, most people are leaving for new careers.
As a consultant, I am often asked, why are people resigning? While money may be a factor for some, it is seldom the only reason. I believe that the top reasons employees are looking for different opportunities often fall into one or more of these categories:
flexibility/working from home,
how companies treated employees (particularly how they were treated the past few years),
and better opportunity.
So, what does this mean for your next job? It likely means you value your environment, more than just the position. Often, job seekers first look at jobs based on the job description, compensation, and benefits. This may also include things like objectives and responsibilities of the role, size of budget or team, nature of the product or service, size of the company, or the mission, vision, and values of the company.
If you are a job seeker more focused on the environment than compensation, as you look for your next role, be sure to look at this critical component – “your why?” What is motivating you to make a change? Why are you job seeking in the first place? What do you value most? Only you, and you alone can answer this important question.
Next, as you start interviewing, have your “why statement” close by, and ask questions like:
What is the work environment like?
How many hours a week is the expectation for this role?
What’s the work-from-home policy?
How would you describe the company culture? Can you provide examples?
What personality traits help someone succeed on this team/in this company?
In what ways does management solicit employee input?
Can you provide an example of how employee input changed company culture or policy?
How did the company help employees during the pandemic?
How has the company culture changed during the pandemic?
What growth opportunities would I be exposed to during the next 2-5 years?
You may have been hesitant to ask such questions before, but, at this moment, in particular, employees have the upper hand and you’re very unlikely to lose the opportunity by asking. At the same time, it makes sure you don’t wind up in another job infringing on “your why” which could be the reason you are looking to leave your job. And if you don’t feel comfortable, pull out the list above and say, “I read a great blog that recommended some questions I’m now asking companies.” This way it seems like you're following a given list and not actively probing for something only a lazy employee is worried about.
Asking these questions now serves two purposes. First, it helps you find the right next job. It’s not just the role or the compensation. If you’re leaving because of culture then make sure your next job meets your “your why” – culture, environment, flexibility, management support, and other aspects that matter most to you.
Second, it sends a signal to employers. If one candidate asks about culture, they think it matters to the one candidate. If seven out of ten candidates ask about the culture, HR will report to leadership, “Employees are asking about this. We need to be competitive with the culture we offer.” By asking you’re helping yourself and helping others and companies feel pressure to offer better workplace culture.
We’ve faced one of the biggest changes in the labor market in a century. While actions do speak louder than words, don’t count on companies to correctly interpret those actions, also use your words. In this case, use them to ask questions about what you value most.
Reach out, let me know if you are thinking about making the most of the great resignation! Email me at email@example.com