The “Big Quit,” also known as the “Great Resignation,” is an economic phenomenon in which employees are leaving their jobs en masse. It began in early 2021, mainly in the United States. As an employee, you can leverage your current position and take advantage of this event.
The Great Resignation has been largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which highlighted low working wages and poor working conditions. The mass resignations caused a significant decrease in the available workforce, which led to increased job security and higher wages for those that remained.
Today’s career climate is largely seen as a movement of employees unsatisfied with their current working environments. These workers give themselves more leverage when looking for new employment or negotiating terms of resignation.
How Can I Take Advantage of the Great Resignation?
Although the Great Resignation began nearly a year ago, there are still ways for employees to take advantage of it. Since the phenomenon began, many employers have been offering increased work incentives to decrease turnover rates.
Here are some tips on how you can benefit from the Great Resignation as an employee.
1. Negotiate your current salary.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. Their resignations caused a massive labor shortage throughout the country, causing employers to consider rate increases for their remaining employees. Although it is expected that this trend of higher salaries will slow down soon, you can still take advantage of your current employment situation.
Negotiating your salary can be a risk to your overall career, but if you ask for a raise and don’t get it, then you have the same earning potential as before. When you’re ready to bring up the topic with your boss, be professional and frame it as a question. For example, “I’ve been doing some research, and I found that my skills are in high demand. Are you able to match or exceed the average for my position in this market?” This approach will show that you’re informed about what you’re worth and respectful of your employer’s budget.
2. Do your research for a career change.
Researching a career change may be one of the most significant advantages during the Great Resignation. Industries are accepting résumés from persons with unrelated degrees and those with little to no experience.
Firstly, with so many changes in different industries, it’s essential to do your homework and figure out your pay scale. Research the average salaries in the area, both for your degree and previous profession. This knowledge will allow you to negotiate a salary without being exploited. Consider location, education and experience when evaluating options. Also, use online resources like Glassdoor or PayScale to discover relevant facts about the field.
3. Consider the snowball effect.
Perhaps you’ve been contemplating a career change and a pay increase. Combine these two elements by asking to be paid at the top rate for your new role, not just your current one. This shows that you can perform at a much higher level than your current position. If rejected, ask what you need to do or learn to ascend into this higher pay range.
By doing this, your employer will see how motivated and driven you are since they know exactly what it will take from you. Moreover, they may even want to provide training if needed, which would allow you to learn new skills on the job.
More Ways of Taking Advantage of the Great Resignation
4. Take advantage when an employer is focused on workplace culture.
Workplace culture has never been as crucial as it is currently. The Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation have brought to light issues of fairness and diversity. Thus, be sure to focus on your fit within the office environment.
To do this, prepare responses that demonstrate your openness towards coworkers’ ideas, your willingness to learn and your awareness of current events. As employers are pivoting to a focus on workplace conditions and culture, take advantage of this direction. Bring up potential issues in your workplace and suggest a better solution. You can be direct in your approach while remaining respectful to your employer. Your goal should be to come off as earnest and genuine rather than whiny or hostile.
Indeed, you can remodel your workplace culture in today’s climate. Employers are working hard to develop cultures that their workers enjoy. If your job doesn’t provide balance, speak with your employer about fixing it.
5. Focus on career development.
Today’s job market is changing, and with it, the way employers approach hiring and career development. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s essential to focus on your career development. To do this, take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, set goals for your career and explore opportunities for professional growth.
With fewer qualified applicants due to increased turnover rates, employers are becoming less selective in their hiring processes. This gives you more bargaining power. Use it wisely! Additionally, make sure you are constantly improving yourself to stand out from other candidates. You can do this by being proactive and positive. Furthermore, seek out opportunities for professional growth, and be an active member of your team. Employers have been offering more opportunities to their employees. Take advantage of these!
6. Negotiate a flexible work schedule.
Working from home has been a staple of workplace flexibility since the Covid-19 pandemic began. According to a study done by FlexJobs, a job search site for remote, flexible and freelance jobs, the number of people working remotely has increased by 115 percent in the past year. The study also found that 97 percent of the workforce desired remote jobs.
If you’re comfortable discussing your needs with your boss, propose a flexible work arrangement that will benefit you. According to a study by The Conference Board, 43 percent of workers have access to some form of flextime. This can include working from home, compressed workweeks, job sharing and other flexible arrangements. You might be able to telecommute one or two days per week, come in early or late once or twice a week or take every other Friday off.
The benefits of working from home are many. You can save time and money on transportation, you don’t have to deal with office politics, and you can take breaks whenever you need them without feeling guilty. You also have more control over your environment, which can be vital if you like to work in silence or need complete concentration to get your work done.
You may find it hard to advocate for improved working conditions or flexible schedules. If your employer does not offer them, today’s job market makes it the best time to request them. Negotiating salary and company positions may be more successful than ever before. Ensure you negotiate everything upfront, so you don’t have any regrets later! For more information, visit our Coaching for Better Learning blog.