The Great Resignation: New gig? Here are 7 tips to ensure success
If recent surveys and polls ring true, over 46% of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year. Despite COVID-19 causing initial turnover due to the related economic downturn, the current phenomenon coined “The Great Resignation” is attributed to the many job seekers choosing to leave their current employment voluntarily. Mass vaccinations and mask mandates have allowed offices to re-open just as job seekers are reassessing work-life balance, making bold moves to take control of where they choose to live and work.
The “New Normal”
Millions of workers have adjusted to remote-flexible work arrangements, finding success and a greater sense of work-life balance. The question is whether or not employers will permanently allow this benefit post-pandemic.
Jerry Lee, COO/Founder of the career development consultancy, Wonsulting, sees changes coming to the workplace power dynamic.
“In the future of work, employers will have to be much more employee-first beyond monetary compensation,” he said. “There is a shift of negotiating power moving from the employers to the employees, which calls for company benefits and work-life balance to improve.”
Abbie Duckham, Talent Operations Program Manager at Mozilla, believes the days of companies choosing people are long over.
“From a hiring lens, it’s no longer about companies choosing people, it’s about people choosing companies,” Duckham said. “People are choosing to work at companies that, yes, value productivity and revenue – but more-so companies that value mental health and understand that every single person on their staff has a different home life or work-life balance.”
Drop the mic and cue the job switch
So, how can recent job switchers or job seekers better prepare for their next big move? The following tips and advice from career and talent sourcing experts can help anyone perform their best while adapting to our current pandemic reality.
Take a vacation *seriously*
“When starting a new role many are keen to jump into work right away; however, it’s always important to take a mental break between your different roles before you start another onboarding process,” advises Jonathan Javier, CEO/Founder at Wonsulting. “One way to do this is to plan your vacations ahead of your switch: that trip to Hawaii you always wanted? Plan it right after you end your job. That time you wanted to spend with your significant other? Enjoy that time off.”
It also never hurts to negotiate a start date that prioritizes your mental preparedness and well-being.
Out with the old and in with that new-new
When Duckham started at Mozilla, she made it her mission to absorb every bit of the manifesto to better understand Mozilla’s culture. “From there I looked into what we actually do as a company. Setting up a Firefox account was pretty crucial since we are all about dog-fooding here (or as we call it, foxfooding), and then downloading Firefox Nightly, the latest beta-snapshot of the browser as our developers are actively working on it.”
Duckham also implores job-switchers to rebrand themselves.
“You have a chance to take everything you wanted your last company to know about you and restart,” she said. “Take everything you had imposter syndrome about and flip the switch.”
“When you join a new company, it’s important to identify the subject matter experts for different functions of your company so you know who you can reach out to if you have any questions or need insights,” Javier said.
Javier also recommends networking with people who have also switched jobs.
“You can search for and find people who switched from non-tech roles to an in-tech role by simply searching for ‘Past Company’ at a non-tech company and then putting ‘Current Company’ at a tech company on LinkedIn,” he said.
Duckham went as far as giving her digital workspace a refreshing overhaul when she started at Mozilla.
“I cleaned off my desktop, made folders for storing files, and essentially crafted a blank working space to start fresh from my previous company – effectively tabula rasa-ing my digital workspace did the same for my mental state as I prepared to absorb tons of new processes and practices.”
In that same vein, when you need a bit of a brain-break throughout the work day and that break leads you to social media, Duckham advises downloading Facebook Container, a browser extension that makes it harder for Facebook to track you on the web outside of Facebook.
“Speaking of brain-breaks, if socials aren’t your thing and you’d rather catch up on written curated content from around the web, Pocket is an excellent way to let your mind wander and breathe during the work day so you’re able return to work a little more refreshed,” Duckham added.
Making remote friends and drawing boundary lines
56% of Mozilla employees signed in to work from remote locations all over the world, even before the pandemic. Working asynchronously across so many time zones can be unusual for new teammates. Duckham’s biggest tip for new Mozillians?
“Be open and a little vulnerable. Do you need to take your kid to school every day, does your dog require a mid-day walk? Chances are your schedule is just as unique as the person in the Zoom window next to you. Be open about the personal time you need to take throughout the day and then build your work schedule around it.”
But what about building comradery and remote-friendships?
“In a traditional work environment, you might run into your colleagues in the break room and have a quick chat. As roles continue to become more remote or hybrid-first, it is important to create opportunities for you to mingle with your colleagues,” Jerry Lee of Wonsulting said. “These small interactions are what builds long-lasting friendships, which in turn allows you to feel more comfortable and productive at work.”
How to leverage pay, flexibility and other benefits even if you aren’t job searching
“The best leverage you can find in this job market – is clearly defining what is important for you and making sure you have that option in your role,” Lee said.
He’s not wrong. Make sure to consider your current growth opportunities, autonomy, location, work-life flexibility and compensation, of course. For example, if you are looking for a flexible-remote arrangement, Lee suggests clearly articulating what it is you want to your manager using the following talk-track as a guide:
I’m looking for ways to better incorporate my work into my personal life, and I’ve realized one important factor for me is location flexibility. I’m looking to move around a bit in the next few years but would love to continue the work I have here.
What can we do to make this happen?
Once you make your request, you’ll need to work with your manager to ensure your productivity and impact improves or at least remains the same.
Finally, it’s always helpful to remind yourself that every ‘big’ career move is the result of several smaller moves. If you’re looking to make a switch or simply reassessing your current work-life balance, Javier recommends practicing vision boarding. “I do this by drawing my current state and what I want my future state to look like,” said Javier. “Even if your drawings are subpar, you’ll be able to visualize what you want to accomplish in the future and make it into reality.”
As the Great Resignation continues, it is important to keep in mind that getting a new job is just the start of the journey. There are important steps that you can do, and Firefox and Pocket can help, to make sure that you feel ready for your next career adventure.
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About our experts
Jonathan Javier is the CEO/Founder of Wonsulting, whose mission is to “turn underdogs into winners”. He’s also worked in Operations at Snap, Google, and Cisco coming from a non-target school/non-traditional background. He works on many initiatives, providing advice and words of wisdom on LinkedIn and through speaking engagements. In total, he has led 210+ workshops in 9 different countries including the Mena ICT Forum in Jordan, Resume/Personal Branding at Cisco, LinkedIn Strategy & Operations Offsite, Great Place To Work, Talks at Google, TEDx, and more. He’s been featured on Forbes, Fox News, Business Insider, The Times, LinkedIn News, Yahoo! News, Jobscan, and Brainz Magazine as a top job search expert and amassed 1M+ followers on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok as well as 30+ million impressions monthly on his content.
Jerry Lee is the COO/Founder of Wonsulting and an ex-Senior Strategy & Operations Manager at Google & used to lead Product Strategy at Lucid. He is from Torrance, California and graduated summa cum laude from Babson College. After graduating, Jerry was hired as the youngest analyst in his organization by being promoted multiple times in 2 years to his current position. After he left Google, he was the youngest person to lead a strategy team at Lucid. Jerry partners with universities & organizations (220+ to date) to help others land into their dream careers. He has 250K+ followers across LinkedIn, TikTok & Instagram and has reached 40M+ professionals. In addition, his work is featured on Forbes, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo! News, LinkedIn & elected as the 2020 LinkedIn Top Voice for Tech.
Abbie Duckham is the current Talent Operations Program Manager at Mozilla. She has been with the company since 2016, working out of the San Francisco Office, and now her home office in Oakland.