There’s no time like the present! That’s why we call it a gift.
The Great Resignation is a gift resulting from the pandemic. Some experts are calling it “The Great Upgrade” which means this is the best opportunity for professionals who have been
to start something different. True careers on purpose are planted within times of great transition – like this.
This won’t last forever, though. It has been almost 20 years since employees have held an advantage in the corporate space. A friend of mine, who is about ten years older than me, always talks about the golden days of the 90s where people were just tripping jobs and employers were willing to shell out whatever was needed to keep them. You see how long ago that’s been? Therefore, I implore you to strike while the iron is hot, and the chips are in your favor.
Here are the ways you can use The Great Resignation to your advantage before it’s too late.
Start With YOUR Needs
Wipe the slate clean. Let go of all the baggage that makes you cringe every time you hear the word “work”. If you’re going to transition into a career where you have authority and influence, you have to release the residue of the bad experiences and plant the good for your future. When is the last time you asked yourself, “What do I need?”. We’re usually so wrapped up in our routines that we don’t realize that we’ve disconnected from what our souls are crying out for. Usually, it’s rest or acknowledging (and addressing) burnout, but you can dig deeper.
Since you spend most of your awake life at work, you need to enjoy that. Here’s the paradigm shift… you will need to set the standards of your career instead of fitting yourself into the standards of a job or company. If this sounds selfish or backwards to you, it’s because we’re breaking your mental conditioning created by the employer's market.
Write a list of everything you need to feel fulfilled and energized in your career. Also, honestly ask yourself who you need to become to obtain such career. The person you are today needs to grow to become the authority figure of tomorrow. Once you answer those questions WRITE OUT YOUR OWN JOB DESCRIPTION. Don’t apply or search for another job before you do this! This is your first step in being in the driver's seat of your career. List out the duties YOU want to do, the type of boss YOU want to support, and how YOU want to use your experience to serve the company. From now on, you should vet job opportunities by this list. Please be mindful about being rigid. Perfection doesn’t exist but at least you’re steering the ship.
This is how you pave your own path.
Build Your Personal Brand
People are more empowered than ever, which means, there's more competition out here. Don’t be intimidated or tempted to wait until the fanfare dies down. No! This just shows how professionals are dictating the recruiting process. You can too by solidifying your personal brand. Companies are throwing money at employees to stay, and branding serves as your leverage. Your brand tells employers who are you, what problem you solve, and the unique way you solve the problem. When employers hire you, they are technically acquiring you as an asset for their company. Your brand story tells them exactly how you should be qualified and quantified as an asset.
As a Career Designer and Marketing Consultant, I'm always talking about personal branding because it’s the vehicle that carries you to all your goals. It also makes you easily stand out because most professionals don’t make the effort to create a personal brand. Employers are desperately seeking people to fill the holes left by the brave people who have realized their worth. By positioning yourself as the best candidate for anything you apply for, you will be compensated the for your worth like never before.
If you don’t take anything else from this blog, know that personal branding is NON NEGOTIABLE.
It shows up in your resume, cover letter, portfolio, wardrobe, language, and overall disposition. I always say that you are a walking billboard for yourself – whether you know it or not. You might as well have the best advertisement!
Compensation is a bit higher than it was before the pandemic. On average it’s about 1.5%, which, doesn't seem like a lot but companies are offering incentives to attract and KEEP people. It's actually very expensive for an employer to continually replace their staff. So, get in the game while higher salaries are on the table.
This is your opportunity to be selective in this process! What role fits into the lifestyle you envision for yourself, professional? Think outside of just paying the bills. How will you evolve your lifestyle beyond the rat race? Your new career needs to start working for you. Just living for a paycheck is a terrible way to live and it robs you of so much of your life.
As a disclaimer, there is no perfect company, but you can negotiate in favor of the lifestyle you’re building. This includes not only your compensation, but also your work from home terms, benefits package, work conditions, tuition reimbursement, student loan payments, and professional development. If you don't want a long commute time, then speak on that. If you need to be autonomous, put that out there too. The purpose here is to get out of survival mode (mentally and physically). Employers are handing out benefits in abundance (have you seen what Amazon has been doing for their employees lately?), establishing new partnerships to bring employees new incentives, and beefing up bonuses.
The Great Resignation is your time to thrive. Commit to expanding your mind and getting out of your comfort zone in this season. Doing so plants a seed for a future beyond your wildest imagination. Give yourself a chance.