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VOL. 45 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 19, 2021

Workers are own CEOs during ‘Great Resignation’

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Until recently, we never would have 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.

The tables have finally turned back in favor of the employee. More than 4.4 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs in September, the most ever recorded for a single month, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.

How did we get here? This is not the shocking overnight phenomenon that appears to be happening. We’ve been building to this for many years. The pandemic simply took it to the next level.

Employees are staying at jobs for shorter periods than in the past. In fact, staying too long is viewed as a negative by many employers. The bar to being labeled a “job hopper” is much lower than it ever was 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 it cannot provide the same in return.

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.

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. It’s a movement driven by personal choice, the opportunity to choose what’s next in your own career.

When the job market was in favor of the company, you needed a strong network and recommendations to enjoy that freedom.

But this market won’t 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 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.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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