Thinking of Joining the Great Resignation? Here Are 5 Things to Consider Before You Do

a woman resigning from her job.

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Becca Carnahan1.11k
Career Coach & Mom of 2
April 14, 2024 at 1:31AM UTC

Picture yourself as a pre-teen back in your childhood home. Across the table is your mother who is quite exasperated with you because you are pleading with her to let you go to an R-rated movie with your friends and she’s not having it.

“But Mooooooom, everyone is going!”

To which she replies, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?”

Fast forward to today and while Mom may not be dictating your weekend plans, many of us are still looking around to see what “everyone” is doing and wondering if we should be doing it too. A prime example: The Great Resignation.

There are many reasons why joining the Great Resignation could be great for you – an opportunity to pivot towards more fulfilling work, a higher paycheck, a remote work environment, etc. But just like Mom said years ago, just because everyone else is jumping doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

In fact, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t join the Great Resignation and instead should stay in your current role.

1. You like your job.

Before you walk away from a job because you feel like you should, ask yourself this and answer honestly – “Do I like my job?”

If the answer is a resounding “Yes!” and the role meets your needs, is rewarding, challenges you in the right way, and you’re working within a culture that works well for you, then you don’t need to leave!

You may feel the peer pressure around you, but keep in mind that people who are leaving their jobs are doing so because something is missing in their current roles and if nothing is missing for you then you don’t need to leave.

2. You aren’t sure what is missing.

Now let’s say something IS missing in your current role, but you aren’t exactly sure what that is. Time to hit pause and figure that out!

For example, if you leave work feeling exhausted at the end of the day do you know what specifically is causing that exhaustion? It could be a physical, mental, or emotional element of your job. It could be related to misaligned values, your day-to-day responsibilities, or boredom.

Pinpoint the pain point before you join the Great Resignation, otherwise, you may land yourself in a job that is a worse fit than where you are now. 

3. You aren’t sure what you want.

 Just as important as knowing what is missing is determining what you want. This way you aren’t simply running away from something, you’re running towards something better.

One way to do this is to flip your “missing” statements into positive opposites and turn them into career criteria.

For example, if you are feeling frustrated because your current role doesn’t allow you to be creative we know what is missing. Then the positive opposite of that may be: “I want a role that allows me to use my creativity to solve problems in a collaborative setting with teammates who are open to new ideas.”

This is a powerful exercise that can help you determine if there is room to make changes in your current job or company before you decide to join the Great Resignation.

For help figuring out what you want, start here with this free training. 

4. You haven’t done your research.

One problem I often see with my coaching clients is that once they determine what is missing and what they want, they want to jump right into job applications so they can join the Great Resignation quickly.

When that happens, I gently encourage pumping the brakes because not only do you need to know what you want, you need to know what a new company can truly offer. Before you think about making a jump, do your research by crafting a list of questions to ask current employees (questions that really matter to you based on your career criteria) and then find the right folks to ask!

You can read a company’s website and social media posts too, but research through conversation is always going to be more effective because you can gather multiple perspectives and ask your specific questions. 

5. It’s not the right season.

Just like in the calendar year, in life we have seasons. Seasons that center on beginnings and seasons of endings. Seasons of full, bustling homes and seasons of empty nests.

Think about what season are you in right now. Are there priorities in your life that your current job allows you to meet in an ideal way? Do you need stability, flexibility, or increased compensation in this season?

If you find that this season of life fits well with a job you’re in right now, then you don’t need to leave simply because “everyone else is doing it.” There will always be shifts in the job market and you are not giving up on your only chance to make a change if you choose not to make a change now.

Do your homework, and then trust your intuition too. Only you know what’s best for you and your family!

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Becca Carnahan is a career coach, author, and mom from Massachusetts. As the founder and CEO of Next Chapter Careers, LLC, she specializes in helping parents land fulfilling jobs they love without giving up the flexibility they need. Sign up for her free job search training at beccacarnahan.com/freetraining.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for thinking through a potential resignation? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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