The Great Resignation: Fear Move or Career Move?

Is it time for a career change?  The Great Resignation has prompted all of us to look closer.  What’s on the other side of that decision?  Even if the door is wide open, and new opportunities abound, it is not always evident what you will encounter on the other side.  I tend to vacillate back and forth about My choice.  MY decision.  Should I stay or should I go?  I’ve learned to ask myself this question.  It never fails to give me clarity:  

Am I making this decision from a place of fear or abundance? 

Fear Move

A fear move is well just that.  A decision our of fear – what I won’t get or I will lose.  This is when I am thinking along the lines of:

  • I haven’t found anything better
  • I am running low on funds
  • This sounds interesting, how bad can it be?  
  • I used to love this
  • The commute sucks
  • And my favorite twisted thinking… I could die tomorrow!

Abundance Move 

An abundance move is a decision to do what you want in life.  This is the brave move.  The move into a different opportunity.  The pull to live your life being able to do “mostly” what you love every day.  I say mostly because that is the reality.  Work, is work and even retirement includes work – making life appointments, letting go of being in charge, finding new ways to inspire myself. In retirement everything takes longer than you think like working out. 

Big Lesson:  Your Life is What You Do Everyday

What do you do everyday?  How do you spend your time?  How do you want to spend your everyday which adds up to your life?  An abundance career move is when you ask yourself, will this make me happy?  Is this where and who I want to be?  It is your faith for your future.  For who you want to be. 

I’m stopping now for dramatic pause.

More Resources Available to Make this Decision

The Great Resignation has prompted debate, insight and lots of practical information about shifting your life.  Find resources that can help you think through this critical path.  CNBC has many helpful articles such as this one:  The great-resignation-heres-what-to-think-about-before-you-quit-your-job.

Top 5 Career Move Reasons

A recent Forbes post made the argument why this is the right time to make a career change.  Since Covid, our priorities are sharper.  We all want true relevance and purpose in our lives.  And the facts are that remote work will be a reality for at least 35% of existing work places with that statistic constantly rising. 

Indeed’s 2019 study revealed the Top 5 reasons people make career changes.  The surprise – two years later, including the Covid experience, our thinking has not really changed the results.  The top 2 reasons people make career change:


2- Want Greater Flexibility  

The core answers remains the same and beg the question:    What will make me happy? 

If you want to take a deeper dive into Indeed’s 2019 Data here you go:

Indeed chart

Don’t be discouraged.  Figure out your true Motivation.  

Why Work Matters

The temptation is to say, I wish I didn’t have to work.  It’s easy to think if I didn’t have to work I’d be happy.   Ask any recent retiree, it’s not a slam dunk.  And statistics prove that.  Being of purpose and relevance are key human motivators.  So it begs the questions: What type of work will make me happy – paid or unpaid?  Start with figuring out if you are skills or mission focused.

Skills Driven

Do you like the daily tasks, role and all systems that come with it?  That’s why some managers are so versatile.  They like the role regardless of mission, content and specific industry.  My daughter loves to organize, make charts, train and project manage.  These are the daily tasks that engage her.  It is less important to her where she does it.  Whether at a big law firm, a start-up or at the local coffee shop.

Mission Driven

Whether you love financial analyses or serving the homeless, you care about what the “Why” is of the organization and how it relates to your values.   Pro Tip – I have found there is a very wide swing here to find your niche and do it across multiple sectors.  Core to my soul as a social worker, I want to help people be financially independent.  From teaching job hunt classes, to entrepreneurial start-ups I don’t care if I’m writing reports, working with people or raising money, I love that mission and everything that comes with it.  

What’s Next

Delve closely into your “honest” motives when you are ready to seek a change.  Make sure you notice what opportunity looks like when it’s knocking at your door.  Ask yourself “Is it a career move or abundance move?”   Take a deep breath and dive in.  The water is great at this end of the pool!

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