If there is one thing that has continued to circulate around social media, it is career-related content. And the top of every headline is two key words: Great Resignation.
What is the Great Resignation?
When Covid-19 hit, many people lost their jobs. What followed was a mass exit of many workers from the workforce in 2021. Many of these people were women. From where I am standing, it’s fair to say that Covid-19 sparked the Great Resignation.
From what I experienced, many people were frustrated with mixed messages with the guidelines and protocols being observed in workplaces. Some workplaces didn’t even implement the guidelines which led to many being frustrated and feeling unsafe.
For others who decided to quit — like myself — it was burnout. Coupled with realizing there was a pay gap, toxicity in the workplace, terrible leadership, and so much more, I started to realize that I deserved better.
I was exhausted, overworked, stressed, worked with very toxic management. Ultimately, I was just done.
But let’s go back a bit.
I had begun to hear about the Great Resignation throughout 2021 and kind of thought it was another “fad” at the time.
At first, I didn’t think much of it. But I started to get curious as to why people were quitting their jobs in record numbers. In 2020 the pandemic hit and people started to lose their jobs in the masses. It was extremely scary! So I think for those of us, myself included, who still had a job, started to have this sense of worry as well.
I was scared to lose my job in such an uncertain time, so I started to put up with a lot more at work.
Even though I knew things were starting to get toxic and bad. I feel as though many people felt like they were in the same boat. With all the uncertainty and possibility of being without a job, I just went to work, did my job, and stayed quiet.
How The Great Resignation Inspired Me To Get A Better Job
What Started To Inspire Me
After starting to see so much Great Resignation content on social media, I began to feel inspired. I started seeing both funny and serious content about people pointing out toxic traits in the workplace. I started to watch videos on social media about what people were truly going through behind the scenes during the height of this pandemic.
It would be content about how bosses were treating their employees, and about employees beginning to stand up for themselves but in a professional way. This was both eye opening and inspiring. It was both comforting and alarming that what I was going through, was exactly what so many others were dealing with as well.
It was comforting because knowing others were going through the same, made it feel more relatable and like I was not alone. However, it was also alarming in that, we all know this is not normal and it is a huge red flag for all of us. It really made me start to re-evaluate everything about my career and my life.
I started noticing more and more of these toxic traits at my own work and finding that they were not ok and some practices even illegal.
I experienced being overworked, underpaid, not validated, not valued at all, gossiped about by my own management, personal information shared with other employees by my own bosses, covid-19 being handled so different for each employee, so much favoritism, and lack of having experienced nor supportive management.
It took over my life. I became depressed, it affected both my physical and mental health. I was not eating or sleeping well. Truthfully, I was so unhappy. The worst part is that I brought all of this home with me.
It started to affect how I was as a mother and a wife.
It was so hard on my family and especially difficult for me to deal with all of this and the feelings it brought on. Feelings of guilt, regret, resentment, and desperation.
When I started to do more and more research into career self care and the Great Resignation, my outlook shifted greatly. I was now determined and I felt like I could be more demanding in negotiating a better salary.
I started to practice how I would hold myself in my interview to portray my confidence, my experience and my intelligence. What I wanted was to hold myself as a prominent candidate so that I could impress my potentially new management, all the while making sure they knew I was not desperate.
Finding a Better Job
I was desperate to leave my job at the time, but I needed the money so I stayed until I found something better. Truthfully, I have a family, and I couldn’t just quit without having something else lined up. I started to job search heavily.
As I began to get calls for interviews, I was not just jumping at saying yes. One thing I learned throughout this eye-opening journey is that I deserve better, and I won’t let myself settle for another terrible job. I wanted to go for something with better pay and benefits, and work in an environment where employees are valued and supported, and by good management. I found just that.
Thankfully, my job search was a pretty quick process overall. I started to have preliminary phone conversations with employers who had reached out showing interest in my application/resume. This led to me being able to get a feel for the job, management and what they were looking for. It allowed me to make a judgment on if I even wanted to pursue an interview.
After a vigorous job search and many interviews, my newfound confidence and my experience landed me an incredible job. What’s more is I didn’t settle, I negotiated heavily, and I held myself with a new found confidence that I did not have before. It was liberating!
I hope that the Great Resignation inspires many others to know their self worth. Whether it’s leaving a toxic job, finding a better job, or quitting and staying unemployed for a while, I hope you find what makes you happy.
If there is anything that our current generation is teaching us, is that we need to know our worth, what we deserve, and to take care of our mental health. Our generation continues to inspire me and change my old ways of thinking, not accepting toxicity, not over working ourselves to death, and knowing that we deserve to be happy.
Did the Great Resignation inspire you to make a change? Are you experiencing a toxic workplace?