Just a few years ago, we would have never guessed that there would be anything called the Great Resignation. But, here we are. It feels like everyone is looking for a new job, in every industry, all at the same time.
We’ve waited for the tables to turn back in favor of the employee, and we’re finally here. More than 4.4 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs in September, according to the Department of Labor. This was the highest voluntary quit on record.
But, how did we get here? This is not the shocking overnight phenomenon that appears to be happening. We’ve been building to this point over many years. And, the pandemic has taken it to the next level.
Employees are staying at jobs for less time than in the past. In fact, staying too long is viewed as a negative by many employers. The bar to be a job hopper is much lower, and frankly, the experience that comes with multiple jobs is valued by many hiring managers.
Most workers grew up seeing their parents or grandparents being taken advantage of at work. Mom or dad committed to a company for their entire career, only to be laid off when that same company needed to save a little money. It is no longer reasonable for any company to expect loyalty when they cannot provide the same in return to workers.
Today’s workers view themselves as the CEO of their own careers. This is even true with regards to education. Often, companies expect new hires to hit the ground running. They take less time for training and development. That responsibility has transitioned to the worker.
And, today’s workers expect respect – for themselves, and their peers. Never in history have employees felt more strongly that employers should take a stand on issues related to social justice or equality.
I hope to see the age of the empowered worker continue into the future. But, one thing that always empowers workers is personal choice. It’s the opportunity to choose what’s next in your own career. And, when the job market was in favor of the company, you needed a strong network and recommendations to do that.
Don’t forget that the current market will not be here forever. This exciting time reminds me of 2008, when the housing market grew very quickly. Home prices rose at a rate that was not sustainable, and eventually, they fell dramatically. The bubble burst. Those who counted on it to continue to grow were burned.
Take advantage of this opportunity. Look for your next role. Get a pay raise. Take calculated risks, but, don’t burn bridges. Your network is part of your career. It will help you to take the next step, and you will still need it when the Great Resignation ends. Stay on good terms with your boss, and your colleagues. It’s an investment in your future career path.