“The Great Resignation is real.”
I recently went for a walk with a close friend, and he used this line in reference to people leaving his current employer.
It resonated as the conversations I’ve had in the last year regarding transition have dramatically escalated for people. Not just job to job – but Baby Boomers are also leaving the work force at an all-time high. Same for second home purchases and downsizing. What are we waiting for? – people are asking themselves.
Lots of reasons for this – the leader of the pack seems to be just a general life reassessment after/during the throes of COVID.
How we define quality of life is in the crosshairs.
So, I put together a list of items that contribute to our quality of life. It’s not really my list – simply what people are conveying to me of late.
If you face any transition, maybe a good thought exercise would be to force yourself to pick just 2 from the list of 5. Make it hard on yourself – pretend you can only have 2. Where does that leave you?
If you’re feeling stuck or amidst transition, maybe this can bring Yogi Berra’s advice to life:
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Where You Live. How often do you want to see friends and family? Spontaneously? (insert in-law joke here). Would you rather travel to them? Do you need local help and support? City or suburb or rural? Coast or the Heartland?
Money. Yes, can one opportunity pay more than the other? But, keep going. What’s of greater value – stability or upside? Or, a confidant has described it this way to me in his own pursuit: “you’ve earned an opportunity. You’ve worked hard, you’ve built expertise, you’ve executed, you’ve built a network. New opportunities are a result of that. Yes, you’ll likely do great in your current position and you’ve also earned the right to take a chance.” Please don’t hear me describing anything other than nuance here. Everyone’s path is different and every path has its own merits.
Challenging / Interesting Work. Reaching your potential is important. You enjoy thinking about your skillset and what makes you unique. Using your brain, exercising patience, implementing strategy, improvement – these all excite you.
Fulfilling / Tangible Success. Work needs a higher purpose. Your efforts don’t just translate to a larger bank account, but in some small way, you’re moving the human race forward. Phrases like ‘making a difference’, ‘being apart of something bigger’, ‘not being a cog in the wheel’, ‘being creative’, ‘calling something your own’, ‘being of service’ resonate with you.
Work / Life Balance. Autonomy is the best word I can find for this category. To what degree are you free from someone telling you what to do? No one is completely autonomous, and this requires a critical eye. Many people think a new sales role, or a bigger role at a smaller company, or something entrepreneurial is a sure way to create freedom. This isn’t always true – we all answer to someone or something. Again, please don’t hear me insinuating anything other than nuance. Often, autonomy is hidden in the details.
If you can’t have it all – or even if you can afford to but you have other values to consider, like that of your family, or kids in school – pick your 2. Where does that land you?
Thanks for reading.