6 Steps to Succeed in The Great Resignation

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The six steps you need to successfully step down from your job during The Great Resignation, no matter where you are on your journey to independence and freedom.

What is the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that began in early 2021. This is an on going trend that consists of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs.

Multiple sources indicate that The Great Resignation is an idea proposed by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University. He predicted a large number of people will leave their jobs after the COVID pandemic ends and life returns to “normal.”

A year into The Great Resignation and it remains increasingly difficult to find quality people to fill open positions.

Business owners and executives within the corporate world are wondering, “when will life return to normal?” But The Great Resignation is a new reality. It is the new normal.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Understanding the Great Resignation

There’s a considerable amount of debate about why people are changing jobs or leaving the workforce.

Many people attribute the increased pattern of behavior to the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent job losses. Others, like professors Joseph Fuller and William Kerr, believe that The Great Resignation is the “continuation of a trend of rising quit rates that began more than a decade ago.”

In their article The Great Resignation Didn’t Start with the Pandemic“, they write:

“Five main factors are at play in this trend: retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, and reluctance. All of these factors…are here to stay.”

There are many ways to look at what’s happening with The Great Resignation. Many explanations are driven by global political and economic bias. You won’t find those here.

The Great Resignation Trends

From Investopedia:

Harvard economist Jason Furman argued in June 2021 that the elevated rate of people leaving their jobs was in line with the rising number of job openings, suggesting competition among employers was driving resignations.1

A record 4.5 million workers quit jobs for reasons other than retirement in March 2022, representing an increase of 152,000 from February 2022, according to JOLTS data. Job openings of 11.55 million at the end of March were also the highest on record.2

Percent of Workers Who Quit Their Jobs, All Industries and Regions
Jan. Feb.MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAug.Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis3

You can see the percentage of people leaving their jobs has steadily increased from 2020 after an initial dip immediately following the Q2 COVID surge.

Retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, and reluctance all play a role in this.

No matter the reason, if you’ve been thinking about making a career move, here are six steps you can take to ensure success.

6 Steps You Need to Succeed in The Great Resignation

You may have friends or family that have voluntarily resigned from their jobs. You may be thinking about doing so yourself. But the Great Resignation is more than simply leaving your job.

It is a radical change in mindset.

1. Get out of Debt

You must learn how to manage your finances.

What is Debt?

Debt is something, usually money, that is owed to another.

Debt is a tool for people to acquire things they could not otherwise afford.

A debt arrangement gives one the permission to borrow money under the condition that it is paid back at a later date, usually with interest.

There are two camps when it comes to debt:

  • Debt-Free
  • Debt as a Tool

Debt can be a useful tool, but only after you learn to live free of it by mastering the art of spending less than you make.

2. Establish an Emergency Savings Fund

An emergency savings fund is a separate savings or bank account used to cover large, unexpected expenses. Conventional wisdom is to build this up to 3-6 months worth of living expenses.

If you follow a plan to get out of debt and then familiarize yourself with budgeting, it becomes much easier to understand what your living expenses actually are.

Methods like the debt snowball can help you do both while also seeing progress on savings.

If you typically have trouble saving, consider an accountability partner.

For example, entrust a loved one with a safe and have your emergency savings fund in cash. They keep the safe in a secure location, and you keep the keys.

To access the money, a discussion must be had about the nature of the emergency and exploring alternative options before accessing the funds.

Understanding your patterns of behavior when it comes to spending may require you to swallow your pride and ask for help with this step.

3. Develop a Plan

Your plan is more than simply an exit strategy from your career.  The Great Resignation isn’t simply leaving your job.  You are exiting the current systems.  You are writing the next chapter of your life.

Consider putting a significant amount of time, effort, and energy into your plan.

Once you become debt-free and begin allocating your money into your emergency fund, the amount of mental clarity you will gain will allow you to begin refining your plan in ways you may have never considered before.

Debt freedom and emergency savings are the first two critical components of your plan. Execute those steps and the rest of your plan will come together.

Part of your plan should be to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be. Express your intent to them and accept their help when they offer it to you.

Be gracious and say “thank you” when you’ve received their help.

Offer help in turn to others when you can. Be involved in your community.

4. Build a Nest Egg

After you’ve compiled your emergency fund, it’s time to stack cash. By now, you’re likely accustomed to the idea of living below your means.

You’re going to continue this pattern and stack cash.

You are on a mission now, and you’ve got your eyes on the prize. This is the “hold my beer” moment in that you are wholly dedicated to the task at hand.

The plan you’ve got in place will allow further refinement as you continue putting money away towards your goal.  You are getting closer to the time when you can take real action.

5. Execute your plan

You’ve been putting in the time, effort, and energy.  You’ve paid off your debt and you’ve established your emergency funds.  You’ve got a solid plan in place and have been adjusting it consistently.

You’re confident and ready to take the next step. Punch your fear in the face and DO IT. You haven’t worked this hard for nothing.

Take action.

6. Adapt, Improvise, Overcome

This is the key to success when it comes to the action taken on the plans we’ve made.

The only constant in life is change. We need to be flexible to maintain success.

As the football coaches say, “bend, but don’t break.”

Embracing the Great Resignation

The past few years have encouraged many to revisit their life paths.

Everyone has their own reason for leaving their past behind and walking toward independence, freedom, and liberty.

It is not always an easy path, but it is a righteous and royal path.

Life is full of change, and these six steps will empower you to pivot when necessary and succeed.

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