I’ve written a few resignation letters in my time; some with unbridled joy and some with complete uncertainty I was making the right move. It’s a big decision.
“The Great Resignation” is a real thing. Right now, in North America, there is a high degree of unemployment AND a labour shortage – something you don’t normally see happen at the same point in time. Thanks to the pandemic professionals have been given the time and occasion to re-evaluate how well their current work is working for them. Many jobs and employers have come up short of expectations.
It’s natural (and healthy) to periodically look at where you are in your career so you can course correct. Early in your career you likely didn’t have a plan (other than to get a job, in your field if possible). From there you may have followed a path of happy coincidence, moving to jobs that worked well for you, climbing the corporate ladder, and feeling good about your career progression. Unusual and disruptive events in life do make us beautiful humans reflect; is this why I got into this work? Is this enough for me? Am I living up to my potential? Am I doing the kind of work I find meaningful? These are all strong questions to consider in your career.
For some, the pandemic was a harsh mirror that reflected a life that was spending too much time working and not enough time on the things that really mattered. If you’re one of the many professionals who’s asking yourself if this is all there is in your life and career, here are some critical things to do before you write that resignation letter.
When I’ve resigned (even when it was with unbridled joy) it wasn’t always my best move. Objectivity plays a huge part in the success of any career move you make, qualifying what you want and realistically seeing what’s out there (and how well that will work for you). While dream careers exist (being able to have meaningful work in your profession for an employer who respects you and invests in your potential or being able to get that kind of work elsewhere whenever you need to), perfect jobs do not.
When you’re considering any kind of job change, it’s important to understand what is non-negotiable for you and what you are willing to compromise to enjoy more of your work and life. Flexibility within clear boundaries you are willing to hold is key to having your dream career.