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Thanks to the Great Resignation, quitting can help your career

career pivot career tips work culture Jun 02, 2022
Woman in blazer working at a laptop next to a disposable coffee cup.

If employers think the Great Resignation is slowing down anytime soon, they are wrong.

It may seem like a USA issue, as reports of millions of people leaving their jobs have crossed the border. But Canada is not far behind. 

Microsoft’s annual Work Trend Index reports that 52% of Gen Z and Millennials are likely to change employers this year

More than half of these generations’ working forces are ready to leave their jobs despite how many people have struggled to find work during the pandemic. Despite the fact that the cost of living is rising. Despite the fact that we are likely heading into a recession. 

People are Googling the best way to quit a job. Forbes has been consistently publishing stories on the Great Resignation since 2021. Employees have drafted their resignation letters from Internet templates.

Why?

 

Because the pandemic showed people that they are more than employees.

 

Now they are more likely to prioritize health and wellbeing over their jobs. 

This means two things:

  1. You don’t have to feel stuck in a job that is not serving you
  2. Employers have to think about how they can serve you better

Reflect on why you are compromising your wellbeing and quality of work by settling for a job you have outgrown. 

Recognize that many people around you are noticing the same thing. 

Realize that this means employers have to become more competitive. 

Their employees are leaving for better options, so companies have big shoes to fill. This is your opportunity.

 

Whether we’re in a recession or an economic boom, the best candidates are still employable. 

 

Company recruiters are on the move making offers and candidates are putting in their two weeks’ notice without remorse. People have decided they do not want to play the waiting game. 

Source: Reddit

So should you.

Here’s how you can make the Great Resignation work for you, whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to improve your current one.

 

#1 – Increasing your compensation

I spoke to Business Insider about how tech workers have capitalized on the Great Resignation by switching companies and landing higher salaries. 

The secret? Research.

Like I said to the reporter Jessica Xing, the best way tech workers can raise their salaries is to get familiar with different companies’ pay structures

One of the best ways to figure out if you are competitive in a job market is to understand the limits on compensation in your company and the company next door. 

Salary bands are pay ranges organizations establish for specific roles by defining them based on market and internal value. The idea is that moving up a level will lead to a salary increase, but this isn’t always the case. Some bands overlap as work overlaps, and employees can get promoted without seeing that reflected in compensation.

It is important to understand your company’s salary band and compare it to a competitor. One job title at your workplace could be a whole different salary range at another. It’s up to you to find out and choose when to make that transition.

Salary range is the most basic pay structure a company can use, as it provides a general range of pay for anyone working in a particular field. Employers can use salary ranges to get an idea of how much they should pay employees. You can use them to learn about the most amount of money you can make at another company. 

Maybe the ceiling is more than you have ever made so you are ready to switch companies and make your way up that corporate ladder. But it is also helpful to see if you have already reached your full salary potential or will reach it very quickly, based on your skillset and your current pay. 

Pay grades are used to determine how much employees will get paid in a profession based on experience and education. With pay grades, the lowest and highest level of pay is relative to your professional and academic background. Sometimes a point system is used to set a salary. 

This can be great if you have multiple degrees or a solid work background to give your salary a strong foundation. At the same time, this may limit your earning potential if you do not. 

Consider if your company makes the same judgement call and figure out where you will get paid to your satisfaction.

Pay bands are a broader version of pay grades because they are not limited by points and they could include a few different grade ranges at each band. You may not have the same schooling as someone, but you could be one or two levels away from their salary, within the same band. There’s room for growth based on your performance, not just your past. 

 

Getting a 50% raise at your current company is unlikely, but that does not mean you are not worth 50% more.

 

Remember that compensation and salary are not the same. If you are happy with the salary you are making or what HR is putting on the table with the offer, you can ask for other things that make life more enjoyable. The Great Resignation works in your favour because companies need to please you to keep you.


Source: Tobi Oluwole LinkedIn

Relocation bonuses, support for your home, professional development budgets – companies are understanding that their employees are people first. People who have needs. 

Do not be shy to share what those needs are. 

 

#2 – Taking a career break

People used to hope the hiring manager would not ask about the time they took off between new positions – or they would just lie about the gaps in their resumes all together. 

Today? Not so much.

If burnout has any benefits to outweigh the symptoms of exhaustion and loss of motivation, it is that many people are experiencing it. More people are accepting about what burnout looks like

Taking time off to recover from burnout, improve your wellbeing, and become a more productive person in your personal and professional life is a good thing. And with job openings waiting for you upon your return, you do not have to stress about what prioritizing your mental health will do to your career.

Taking a career break is also a great way to learn new skills. Leaving your job can help you become a better employee for the next step in your career.

In fact, LinkedIn users can now include the Career Break option to their profile and advertise the fact that they have not worked. Here they can discuss the classes they took, the skills they developed, and the certifications and training they have completed. Career Break can show employers that just because someone wasn’t employed, doesn’t mean they stopped working.

Nearly half of the employers that LinkedIn surveyed said they believe candidates with career breaks are untapped talent.

How exactly do you upskill?

Start by thinking of your career options. Where are you now? Where do you want to go?

Once you find those answers, you have to look inside yourself. What do you know? What don’t you know? What do you want to know? 

When that list is complete, it’s time to take to the internet, where there is no shortage of courses and certifications (free and paid) to guide your career development. Try programs like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning to add more to your resume. 

 

You do not have to get a new degree to build new skills. 

 

If you find that the next step after your career break is just getting your foot in the door at a new company, we have a solution for that too. 

Our Project Pivot program can take what you have done in school and your career and show you work options you didn’t know were possible. Learn how to communicate to employers that you may not have the experience for their field, but you are everything they are looking for. 

 

#3 – Negotiate for remote work 

One of the reasons why the Great Resignation is happening is because employees got a taste of what it was like to have flexible work options, and they do not want to turn back. 

 

Remote and hybrid work is here to stay. It’s time for employers to get on board. 

 

Working from home is so much more than wearing sweatpants to work. It gives you work life balance. It improves your wellbeing. It saves you time on your commute. 

All these things have improved the quality of work employees have produced and it’s time management accepted this.

Remote work has increased productivity up to 77%

People are less distracted in the office and they have more energy when they don’t have to spend two or more hours getting to and from work. 

Yet people are still leaving their jobs. This is where negotiation comes in.

Some people are returning to the office a couple of days a week and others have returned for the full week as if nothing changed over the last two years. But it doesn’t have to be this way for you. 

Maybe you are satisfied with your compensation and your role. Maybe the lockdown was not stressful for you and you just want to enjoy the home office life. You can make this happen by doing three things:

  1. Write a proposal or book a meeting with your manager to formalize your hybrid work schedule and demonstrate you are serious about remote work
  2. Share the benefits of remote work and how it has helped your employee performance (and the company’s too) 
  3. Address their concerns about having an offsite team so you can assure them you will continue to work as diligently as you had before and during the pandemic

Employers forget that the pandemic proved that they can support telecommuting. There are plenty of companies willing to support your remote work aspirations. Negotiate your way into your home office with the understanding that many people are leaving their positions to improve their work-life balance. Know that you do not have to stay where you are not supported. Begin looking for roles that offer hybrid or remote work because they are plentiful. 

The way we work is changing. 

Toddlers and pets are on conference calls. People have turned their kitchen tables into office desks. Staying at a job for less than two years is normal – sometimes it is even celebrated. 

Canada has an aging population that will be retiring out of the workforce in the next few years, so this work culture progress will probably continue. 

The Great Resignation is an opportunity for employees to take advantage of their choices. 

What are you going to do with it?

 

Transition into the right role for you

If you’re wondering how to move into a new company, let alone a new industry, feel free to connect with anyone on the 3Skills team. 

3Skills is rolling out another semester of Project Pivot, a virtual program that trains people to transition into new roles and industries – without taking a pay cut. 

It includes live weekly coaching, a structured curriculum with access to video training and step-by-step guides, and a connection with a community of successful instructors and fellow job seekers. 

 

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