The Great Resignation is Your Great Opportunity
Updated: Mar 27
People are leaving the workforce at record breaking numbers — Those who use this to their advantage will create the careers of their dreams.
It’s an understatement to say that the pandemic has changed how we as a society view work and our careers.
“…events like the pandemic make people step back and rethink their lives…one hopefully silver lining of this horrible pandemic would be if the world of work transitioned to a more healthy, sustainable place for employee wellbeing.” — Anthony Klots, psychologist & professor at Texas A&M, coined the term “Great Resignation”
Obviously I have a lot to say about this.
First: I was one of those women.
In total, 2.3 millions of women left the US workforce in the first year of the pandemic — working mothers, women leaders and Black women were impacted most significantly, accordingly to LeanIn.org’s Women in the Workplace 2021.
And a record breaking 10.9 million open jobs remained at the end of July 2021, as shared in a great article from Harvard Business Review, Who Is Driving the Great Resignation?. I personally was the recipient of a layoff due to COVID-19 in 2020.
So I know first-hand what it was like to be part of the story and how hard-but-necessary it was to get my act together for myself and my family.
I poured everything I learned that helped me get to a better place (+into a job I love) for my life and my career into the Unstuck Your Career Bootcamp so that more women can pandemic-proof their lives and never go through something like that without resources and tools that work (more on that here @unstuckyourcareer).
Second, now that I’m on the other side of the data — as a manager, leader and advocate for women (and men to be honest; we need both!) in the workplace, at a company and job I love, and worked hard to land— I have a vested interest in figuring out WTF I can do from where I sit.
And I’m not alone.
The leaders and companies “who get it”, who care deeply about retention and attraction, who want to “do something about it,” are. We are thirsty for good talent, talent who knows what they want, and asks for it. And we want you to work for us. Hello, opportunity! Now, there are a lot of great resources out there on “how we can help”, mainly focused in two areas:
The companies and managers who need to attract, retain and inspire talent.
The professionals who need jobs, support, resources and hope that better is out there.
Leaders, Managers, Change Agents, Listen Up! Here are a few actionable things I’m doing, that we as leaders should consider and implement:
Understand why people leave and take actions that map to it
Be visible about your work-life boundaries (do not disturb hours) with your team
Join workplace DEI initiatives and actively help
Mentor women and men
Have the real talk in team meetings, with frequent mental health pulse checks
Understand each others career plans and aspirations
Arm team with tools for advancement, networking and development
Be a better listener, and open calendar for any 1:1’s
Ensure roles and responsibilities are clear and well understood in the organization
Do a salary/equity audit and adjust as needed
It is clear that companies and leaders must adapt to the times in order to change the future of work, and to attract and retain talent. And guess what? The companies and leaders that are conscious of this, are trying to do the right thing, by taking actions like the ones I outlined above, and by simply being proactive and caring.
This is very good news for the professionals who have left the workforce (and want to return), or those who are considering leaving.
“Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.” — Ian Cook, Who is Driving the Great Resignation?
The silver lining of the Great Resignation is this: workers who know what they want and ask for it will be more able to land jobs and salaries that are meant for them, on their terms, at companies that want to attract and retain.
Attention Professionals: This is Your Time To Create the Career of Your Dreams Those who are using this as an opportunity to make some kickass lemonade, will come out on top.
If this is you, here’s what you can do:
Seek out strong mentors
Be a strong mentor
Strengthen your personal brand
Dial in your purpose
Nurture your network
Sharpen your personal marketing materials
Get crystal clear on what you want and your non-negotiables
Ask for exactly what you want with your current/future employer
Be ruthless and unapologetic about creating a work-life setup that works for you
We each have the power to affect great change.
How are you working to be part of the solution?
Danielle Vardaro, Aviation Exec, Proud Working Mom, Speaker
Many people are leaving jobs that weren’t/aren’t serving them, and tapping into their best life: becoming entrepreneurs and full-time parents, making that life-changing first step towards their wildest dreams, and taking a much needed break to figure it out — good for you by the way! — *However* there are just as many people who have leapt without a plan.
If this is you, we can help. Inside the Unstuck Your Career Bootcamp we share the no bullsh*t tactics and tools to take your current career circumstance, and make it work for you. we cover four main areas as follows:
HOW TO FIND YOUR PURPOSE
HOW TO BRAND, MARKET & SELL YOURSELF
HOW TO BE A NETWORKING KING/QUEEN
HOW TO NEGOTIATE LIKE A BOSS
These are the exact tools Danielle used to go from job loss to dream job, and she’s used them to help dozens of women in the workforce during the pandemic get to a better place with their passions and careers.
Want to learn more? Check us out here.