After the Great Resignation: Your Next Move
By Carolyn Hardwick, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Stratis
We are all too familiar with the phrase “the great resignation.” Over 47 million Americans left their jobs by the end of 2021, and there were 11.26 million job openings (Zippia) in the United States in January 2022. What do these statistics mean for employers and for employees? Many companies state that their toughest challenges these days are recruiting, managing, and retaining employees. As a manager who has interviewed over 300 candidates over the last 3 years, I can tell you that recruiting and managing is not for the faint of heart. To take it a step further and to be honest, lately, I have seen candidates and employees behaving badly.
You may be one of the telecom workers who analyzed your work situation and decided to resign in the past 18 months. With the new challenges of working from home, flexing your schedule, or juggling home-schooling with work demands, perhaps you decided to pursue a position that offered better work-life balance, higher pay, or better benefits. Job candidates and employees hold a lot of power in today’s job market. “To put it simply, the bar has been raised and the power has transitioned from the hands of the employer to those of the employee.” says Kristen Fowler, Vice President at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, writes in Forbes.
I recently heard the phrase, “with great power comes great responsibility”, a line quoted by Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spiderman. It is similar to a Biblical parable of the faithful servant in Luke 12:48: "To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked”. If you know you are in a favorable and powerful position as an employee or prospective employee, shouldn’t you use your abilities in the best possible way?
If you are contemplating change or are in the throes of recruiting for your next position, what’s your next move? Knowing those first impressions are lasting impressions, I hope that everyone, whether interviewing or simply attending work meetings, adheres to some basic business guidelines: be prepared, be prompt, listen more than you speak, and dress professionally. Even in a virtual setting, showing up late, being disheveled, wearing your “weekend casual” attire, and being unprepared demonstrates disrespect to your audience.
Be realistic about your worth and your experience. If you’ve been in the industry with little or no experience, know that you will be offered an entry-level position with a commensurate salary. Be realistic, but don’t disqualify yourself by demanding an unrealistically high salary. Be prepared to go through months of training, and be willing to work diligently to get to the next level. I recently spoke with a CEO who credits his success to being the person who was willing to do the jobs no one wanted to take. He also took every opportunity to learn something new, take advice from managers, and believed that there was no limit to what he could achieve.
Finally, if you have landed a new job, stop looking. Your new employer has hired you with confidence and is ready to train and retain you. It is inappropriate to start your position, yet continue to interview with other companies. It is also unfair to start a position, then threaten to leave within the first 90 days with mention that another company has approached you with a better offer. Don’t burn that bridge with a company that is investing in you as part of their team.
Remember your power and your responsibility. Be humble. We can all learn. “There can be a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confident people are naturally magnetic, but nobody is attracted to people who act superior to others” (Celia Harvey) Let’s all put our best foot forward and raise the bar with our best efforts and contributions. Decide to bring your A-game every day, and you’ll see an incredible return on your personal investment. Don’t let anyone hold you back, including yourself.
Sources: Why Is It So Hard to Find the Right Candidates in Todays Economy
18 Great Resignation Statistics : Why Are Americans Leaving Their Jobs? – Zippia