IN what’s been termed the Great Resignation, hundreds of employees have quit their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Close to two years of lockdown restrictions and other challenges have caused people to reassess their priorities, with some choosing to hop off the career ladder altogether.
A survey from Personio last year found 38% of employees were looking to change roles in the next six or 12 months.
“There are a number of reasons people are considering quitting their jobs,” says Indira Chima, BACP therapist and founder of The Counselling Living Room (thecounsellinglivingroom.co.uk).
Are you thinking 2022 might be the year you wave goodbye to a job that’s been making you miserable? Experts list five key questions you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge...
Do you often suffer the ‘Sunday scaries’, a sense of dread that descends when you realise the weekend will soon be over and it’ll be Monday morning again?
“If so, you might be surprised to know that not everyone feels that way when Sunday rolls around,” says Philip Karahassan, BACP therapist and founder of Therapy in London (therapyin.london).
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should immediately hand in your notice. First, you need to work out what in particular about Monday morning is so panic-inducing.
Karahassan says: “In trying to decipher what that ping of anxiety is telling you, be honest with yourself. It could be an environment you need to remove yourself from, or it could be something you need to confront and address.”
“Many people stay in their job because it’s comfortable and all they know,” says Chima. “They may have a certain skill set or are paid well, but does your job make you happy today? As your life and circumstances have evolved, does your job still meet your needs today?”
She suggests considering ‘push and pull’ factors, i.e., reasons you want to quit and, on the other hand, why you’re reluctant to leave.
“Think about what you need and crave at this stage of your life,” says Chima. “It may be a better work/life balance, less responsibility and stress, or a more challenging and exciting role.
If you’ve actively started looking at other roles, remember to consider all aspects of the job before jumping ship.
Karahassan says: “A common misconception is that greener pastures are perfectly green forever, and this isn’t the case. Rather than looking for that perfect, well-rounded job, instead ask yourself what would make your life just that little bit more fulfilling?
It is, of course, vital to consider the financial implications of a major career move, especially if you’re thinking of resigning without a new role to go to. “This is where plan B or plan C comes in,” says Chima. “It’s a good idea to have savings set aside or access to savings if it doesn’t work out.”
She also recommends talking it through with your partner, if you have one: “Help them understand why you are feeling this way. Would they be prepared to support you, or can they help you arrive at solutions that would allow you to quit your job now or in the future?”
“If you have come down to that very important decision of leaving your job, what has stopped you so far?” Karahassan asks.
If you’ve figured out the financial and practical aspects of quitting but are still scared, it may be time to follow author Susan Jeffers’ motto: ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway.’