Evaluate where you are and your career. The Great Resignation is a great opportunity to look at different careers.
This year, I made the choice I never thought I would have done – I quit my job for something better.
HOW IT STARTED
Ever heard of the “Great Resignation”? There’s 2 sides of why the Great Resignation started (employers version and employees version), but for this article, I personally view the Great Resignation as an opportunity to think about “yourself” and how you value yourself.
Let’s first find out about you. Do you resonate with any personalities below?
- Do you do your best to bring positive energy into the work environment?
- Are you always giving your 110%?
- Do you sometimes get to work first (before the boss even comes) and leave the office last?
- Do you literally invest your time, your weekends, and your energy to keep pushing the company forward?
If at least one of these personalities fits you, keep reading!
- How’s your work environment? Do you face these below on a constant basis?
- Your workplace environment feels “toxic”
- Some days, the office atmosphere is dictated by your boss’ mood
- Do you enjoy your “boss” or “manager” not being at the office?
- Do you feel “burned out” on a daily basis?
- Do you feel nervous when you make “mistakes”?
- Before you walk into the office, do you take a couple of minutes to “hype” yourself up?
- Do you spend less time doing the things you want to do because of “work”?
- Does your workplace expect you to “sacrifice” your weekends constantly?
Did you face nearly half of these above? Then you’re like me and it’s time to start thinking about finding other opportunities.
’ve worked for five years at a small business without getting any pay raises and just had a salary since I started out after graduating college (fyi, if you didn’t know this, pay raise is more than just doing good work, it’s also adjusting your pay due to increasing inflation rate). Many of my coworkers saw me taking more responsibilities that were beyond my pay (to “save” costs for the company, I took over different operations of the business that I had to learn on the go). I stayed with this company due to my belief that if I sacrificed my time and grew the company, I would be compensated when the company sells. It was a verbal promise from the boss (also a bad mistake, any promise needs to be written in detail and written by a lawyer), and this year, I received my “fully vested” legal documents.
It was different than I thought. It wasn’t what I had originally agreed to verbally. I’ve voiced concerns with my manager, but there was no chance of making any changes or finding ways for a better compensation.
I reached out to a mentor of mine to fully understand my “fully vested” document. After a 4 hour phone call, I came to realize the company was worth nothing. My mentor also told me to really think about how I view myself. Are you willing to be paid less for the skills you’ve shown, the energy you give for the company, and being loyal?
I said “heck no”.
Every day, I was constantly thinking about the company, finding out ways to increase sales, improve website coding, and doing everything the boss needed. It came to the point where after a talk with an East Tech alumni that worked at the company for a couple of months, I realized no matter how hard I worked, I wouldn’t be able to change the company because all final decisions came from the boss.
I became a person who gave more than I had – continual unpaid labor and effort, to the company.
Both my mentor and an East Tech alumni told me it was a great time to start looking for another job with the pandemic impacting all walks of life. That’s what I did. The “Great Resignation” came at a perfect time for me, because there were more opportunities out there for the career I wanted, a company that would value my skills, and also give me the flexibility I needed.
After every workday, I applied to over 20+ different jobs via LinkedIn. I definitely failed a couple of interviews, but there were several companies that asked me to move to the next round. After 2 months of job searching, I secured a new job that pays better for my skills, gives me flexibility, and the work culture felt easy to be a part of.
It’s been over a month and so far:
I have more control of my off-hours and my weekends
I have less anxiety from being criticized
I feel confident with my skills and who I am
I feel my work is making a difference
I can help my family financially
I can truly think about doing things I enjoy
Here’s some valuable lessons I learned from this and while the Great Resignation was a great time for me to think about this, these are the things I wished I would have told my younger self:
Create a timeline to evaluate where you are with the company and yourself (for many people, you’re not going to stay with one company).
Do you feel like you have some kind of work-life balance?
Do you feel you’re compensated for the things you do?
After x amount of years, where do you see yourself in the company?
If you have a tough time answering these questions, then truly start thinking about yourself and where you want to be. Remember, for any company there’s a global pool of potential employees and remote workers to fill the needs. You are the only person that controls your life, your career, and your happiness.
I am sharing my story because for many people, the reason why I started thinking of quitting was because a former East Tech alumni gave me a “real talk” and told me to really think about yourself first before thinking about the company. I was stuck in a “naive” mindset and after talking to friends, mentors, and people I trust, I was able to move on towards a better company and a better career.