Career & Life Strategies During The Great Resignation
We hear a lot about the great resignation these days. A significant number of people have left their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, I notice many people on LinkedIn are actively looking for jobs. All the while others announce their new “dream job.” Others are taking sabbaticals, some as short as one or two months and others up to twelve months or longer.
A sabbatical is a wonderful tool that some can take advantage of to help them rejuvenate and reset. Additionally, it can give us time to explore our next career steps before jumping into more of the same. There are some who are taking unplanned and even unwanted “sabbaticals.” In my experience, the vast majority of people want meaningful work that affords them the opportunity to live more fulfilling lives. Moreover, they want work that enables them to create meaningful lives. Especially, If they are less concerned about the work itself.
Andrew McCaskill, a career expert with LinkedIn, refers to this period in time as a “career awakening.” People are actively seeking more meaning in their work and lives. They are tired of feeling burned out, ineffective in their work, and not having the impact they desire. Consequently, this can lead to feelings of unhappiness in work and life.
With any luck, we make changes that evolve us into better versions of ourselves. And in some small or large way, this makes the world a better place.
Career & Life Strategies: My Personal Story
In December 2020, midway into the pandemic, I left my job to be a full-time leadership coach. Further, it was a reset from years of working 10-12 hour days culminating in the stress and strain of having COVID myself.
Sidenote: If I believed in regrets, I might start to feel bad about some of the things I did not do while working these long hours. Such as, getting married and having a family. Luckily, I believe that my life is unfolding in alignment with the greater good. And for better or worse on the daily.
Challenging experiences, such as these, generally force people to take a closer look at their lives. With any luck, we make changes that evolve us into better versions of ourselves. And in some small or large way, this makes the world a better place.
“Force” may seem like an extreme word here, but this is generally true. Unfortunately, most of us don’t make change unless we are forced into it.
In regard to work, many people are taking time to reflect and gain clarity about the type of work they want to do. Which includes work that aligns with their values, strengths, and vision for a better life and world. A world that values the inherent worth of each person. Of course, this is true for the privileged among us but deserved for all. The Truth is, we are all One. Moreover, what we do for ourselves we do for others and what we do to another we also do to ourselves.
How To Gain Clarity To Develop Your Career & Life Strategies
People want to create lives filled with what brings them meaning and happiness outside of work.
- A partner and family
- A beautiful home
- Fun things to do at night and on the weekends
- Friends to share these fun things with
- Personal and spiritual growth physical
- Emotional, mental, and financial health
- And more
We are tired of work that is all-consuming.
The steps I share took shape from my desire to “be a leader.” It was about five years into my public health career when I decided I wanted to be a leader. So, I enrolled in a coach training program.
This program gave me a new perspective about what it means to be a leader and to create a life of meaning. Further, It led me through a series of steps and to a lot of additional training. Enthusiastically, I followed the yellow brick road! Each step led me to the next. And ultimately to the beautifully complex life I lead today (Ha!).
Feel free to adapt these steps to meet your needs! They are a living, breathing, roadmap that you can reroute based on your unique life.
There are at least eight steps you can take to gain clarity about your career and life strategies!
1. Assess your level of satisfaction in your professional and personal life. This will help you see exactly where you can create change in your work and life. Resource: Check out this article I wrote, Why Set #2022goals? I share about getting clarity about how satisfied you are with the different parts of your career and life.
2. Articulate your values. Explicitly stating your values will help you gain clarity about what to say “yes” and “no” to. Resources: Check out the values clarification exercise in the book, Resonant Leadership, by Boyatzis and McKee called Your Moral Core. Read more about values clarification in the book, The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner.
3. Identify your life purpose. Don’t get caught up in declaring the perfect life purpose statement. Let it be okay for right now. Let it be a guidepost to help you shape your work and life. Resource: You can read more about purpose in The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner.
4. Describe the limiting beliefs that hold you back and choose different, life-affirming beliefs. Better yet, let go of all the beliefs about who you are all together (a topic for another article). I’m not going to lie – for most of us, this is the most challenging work. The mind is not your friend. Not kidding. Resource: Check out Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson.
5. Characterize your natural talents and explore ways to turn these talents into strengths. Furthermore, stop trying to identify your weaknesses and fix them. This is old school. But, if it works for you, go for it. Resource: Take the assessment in Rath and Conchie’s book Strengths-Based Leadership.
6. Improve your emotional intelligence. Get curious about your inner world. Moreover, focus less on the external world including social media and keeping up with those around you. Your inner world is the source of anything you could ever want or need. In addition, it will provide all the answers for you. Resource: Take the assessment in Bradberry and Greaves’ book Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
7. Learn how to stay connected to yourself and others. If you want to connect with others in a satisfying way, you must connect to yourself. Resource: Please develop a meditation practice. Read more about the connection strategies of mindfulness, hope, and compassion in Boyatzis and McKee’s book, Resonant Leadership.
8. Create and implement a plan aligned with what you learned from completing 1-7 above.