Navigating Career Compass through the 'Great Resignation'

Navigating Career Compass through the 'Great Resignation'

Rekha Radhakrishnan, Director, Human Resources, Honeywell, 0

With the wave of Great Resignation, we saw many job hoppers shifting from startups to large corporations and from metro cities back to the roots. The pandemic made us relook our life choices, propelling us to look at how we do work and what work means to each one of us - from covering bills to finding fulfilment.

Opportunity to work remotely made many around us realize that the pursuit of happiness is not necessarily pressing the gas pedal of the new SUV, but lazing around in Pyjamas while multi-tasking at home. We see more people quit around us as they simply did not want to come back to the workplace. Their new home in the village is far more comfortable, they avoid their lengthy commute and hefty rentals, and hey, the ability to toggle screens and take a power nap made us more productive! We took a collective call to change from ‘live to work’ to ‘work to live’.

Now that organizations are slowly transitioning back to ‘normal’ and if you are caught up in the crossroads wondering whether to jump the ship or not, here are a few considerations.

Speak Up and Ask for What you Want!
Declare that your priorities are spending more time with your family and taking care of your mental health. Create explicit work-life boundaries. Let's normalize and celebrate having a life outside of work.

Right now, things are a little chaotic, so you have some real power – and that’s the power you should exercise. Well, that does not mean you march into your Manager’s office and demand a 30 percent pay hike (do it if you feel you are not paid on par with the market but go prepared). Take the courage and negotiate your responsibilities. So many people make choices to leave before ever having conversations about what they are unhappy about. Having those conversations can be the first step toward improving your life and career.

Take advantage of the qualities that make you unique; the knowledge you have about how to get things done here, the processes and practices, and the cultural perspective.

Communication is the Key
Go to your Manager with recommendations about what you want to be doing, instead of just saying, ‘I’m not happy, I would like to quit’ meaning taking stock of what you wish about your current role and what you’d wish to change. For example, a conversation about ‘What would improve my quality of life?’.
It may be specific skills you want to develop or new projects you could take on that could potentially move you up the career ladder or draw boundaries about extended work hours.

Staying in Your Role can Shorten Time to get that Promotion
But then you need to be agile and up-skill yourself. When you are an old-timer and there are suddenly new faces, how are you going to step up and lead the change, can you effectively induct the newcomers into your team and be their leader?

Have an open conversation with your manager about the parts of your job you’d like to change which might have been unrealistic in the past. But now, as organizations focus on retaining talent, the dynamics have shifted quite a bit. The power balance is in your favor! It’s the conversation that you would have been intimidated to have, or didn’t feel powerful enough to have, “the time is now and you should!”

Progress is about learning and building on your strengths and expanding your horizon

Let’s be more proactive about our career journey. The good news is that with ‘The Great Resignation, organizations are listening, and leadership is trying to have a two-way conversation as opposed to being top-down.
Workforce reconfiguration is bound to happen. An honest conversation with an organization that’s keen to keep you could potentially lead to a bigger - broader role. So, before you start looking out to just check out the job market, it is worth exploring the benefits of staying where you are. When you see your colleague or someone you’ve worked with gets a new job with better pay or a fancy title, it is easy to get into the mode of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We almost always discount the adjustment, the perils of change that comes with any new job, sometimes we just get excited by the idea of something new, and many times it’s the money. Although money will always be an important element in career decisions, poorly planned moves can have a catastrophic effect. That is particularly important in the current climate where we are being offered increased flexibility and extensive benefits.

Almost always expanding your skills can be accomplished within the same organization - large or small - by exploring a variety of jobs across multiple businesses to differentiate your experiences. This can be by taking on projects outside of your normal work, a bubble assignment or participating in gig work and nurturing an environment that allows you to fail and learn from it. The breadth of your experience when you are a 'known devil' that you could gain in your organization would prove to be a greater asset in the long run.

Progress is about learning and building on your strengths and expanding your horizon. This is a great opportunity for you to take a step back and regroup your larger goals in life.