If you have been feeling the tide of change and considering a career change, you are not alone. A recent Microsoft study found that a staggering 41% of the workforce are considering resigning from their jobs and potentially changing careers. Texas A&M Business School Professor Anthony Klotz coined the term “The Great Resignation” to describe this unique moment brought about by the pandemic and the rise of the remote and hybrid workforce. The last 18 months have created a shift in prioritizing our time and navigating the work/life balance in a way that has many people considering a career switch to something that better meets these shifting needs. As Anthony Klotz put it, “How we spent our time before the pandemic may not be how we want to spend our time after.” Hence the Great Resignation.
So, if you are feeling unsettled, overworked, burnt out, and in need of a career change, what do you do with that feeling? If you feel as though it may be time for your own Great Resignation, here are some thoughts about how to switch careers as well as job hunting strategies and when to consider consulting a career change recruiter.
- Identify what you want from your career and what you’d stand to gain from changing careers. What do you need right now in your work environment that you are not receiving? Are you really feeling unhappy at your job, or would it just feel refreshing to try something new? Are there ways to scratch that itch other than a career change, like taking a class or starting a new hobby? Is the Great Resignation your best choice or is there a way to make your current situation workable for both you and your employer?
- Make a list of all the reasons you are considering resigning or changing careers and have an open conversation with your management or supervisor. Maybe your boss is more flexible with your desire to continue working from home than you thought. Perhaps they would grant you an extra vacation if you opened up about how burnt out and tired you feel. Before making the final decision to resign and switch careers, allow space for collaboration and working together if it feels appropriate.
- Before you become one of the participants in the Great Resignation, create a financial plan for the worst-case scenario. If you don’t already have your next job lined up, be prepared to support yourself for a few months while you change careers.
- Set up job alerts for jobs so you can apply as soon as possible. With this surplus of employees changing careers, employers are more eager than ever to fill positions. Don’t forget about career change recruitment. Recruiters are out there actively screening and evaluating candidates. If you know what companies you want to work for, and what roles you are interested in, start connecting with career change recruiters that support that team and organization. Be specific as to why you are changing careers and what roles you are interested in and be respectful of a career change recruitment consultant’s time. You may find yourself in an interview sooner than you think! When planning a career change, recruiters can be an invaluable tool in your job search strategy.
- This career change is no longer just about the job, it’s about the company values and company culture. Get to know people who work where you can see yourself and ask them questions about their work satisfaction. There’s no sense in changing careers only to land at a company that isn’t a good fit for you. This is an area in which your career change recruiter can assist you as well. They often have their finger on the pulse of company culture in a way that those contemplating a career switch cannot.
- Give your “Great Resignation” in person or over the phone, and put in two weeks if possible. You will most likely need a positive relationship with your previous employer to gain a new role you love, so leave the company in the most respectful, positive way you can. While no one can tell you when to resign from a job, the best way to resign from a job is always to do so on good terms. Your career change recruiter can assist in advising you as to how to resign from your job and make a smooth transition into a new one.