Making the most of the ‘Great Resignation’ by staying in your job

content great resignation puppy dog

The Great Resignation, the Big Quit or perhaps even Flexodus is just another in a long list of disruptions and trends brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of 2021 in the US, over 40% of all employees were considering quitting. This moved beyond mere intent when between April and September more than 24 million Americans left their jobs. In the UK job vacancies rose to 1.25 million in the final quarter of 2021, an increase of over 50% in the space of a year.

It’s almost as if entire workforces are going on strike, which isn’t far from the truth, with people across various sectors quitting for reasons such as toxic work cultures, job insecurity or feeling undervalued.

This not to mention the opportunities afforded by a job market in which candidates are in the driving seat, whereby they can demand higher remuneration and better benefits, and find organisations that fit better with their ideals and goals.

But what about those that are happy in their jobs, that have no intention of quitting? What’s it like seeing so many people quit? What are the opportunities and challenges of remaining in your role?

Are you tempted to jump on the bandwagon?

You may like your job, but seeing so many people quit might make you feel like you’re being left behind, that you really shouldn’t miss an opportunity, or that your current role will become stale.

If seeing other people leave is making you consider doing the same, there’s likely a sense of dissatisfaction with your current situation. Ask yourself a few questions: Are you still inspired? Are you under or overworked? Is there something else that excites you?

Then ask yourself, can you resolve your dissatisfaction in your current role with your current employer? If you think yes, great, go for it, but if the answer is no, make the most of the favourable job market and look for another role.

If you stay, make it worthwhile

Staying may be an opportunity to take on more responsibility, to expand the scope of your role and get involved with projects and initiatives. Just because many people are leaving doesn’t necessarily mean employers will be willing or able to replace them, at least not quickly. Take this situation to add more value to your employer and make them see it.

Search hundreds of roles from all over the world on ACCA Careers

Sign up for a job alert tailored to your desired location and role

Is this the time ask for more?

Now is probably a great moment to re-evaluate and be optimistic, which might extend to negotiating a new job title, taking on more or varied responsibilities, improving your remuneration packages, and requesting flexible or remote working.

However, bear in mind that companies are not likely to reward people for staying, neither is it easy for companies to start increasing salaries left, right and centre. Have constructive conversations around the broader benefits package, which all cost companies money, and within which salary can be talked about.

But don’t burnout

You might choose to take on more responsibility, or an employer might simply expect you to cover the work of colleagues that quit — whichever it is, be careful not to burnout. Manage the situation to suit you and your capacity. Be honest with what you can realistically do and achieve.

Competing with new faces

People leaving is disruptive in several ways. Teams will change, with old faces leaving and new ones incoming, and depending on whether the team was well-functioning, this can be either a significant disruption or the potential for improvements. Either way, make sure you’re closely involved with any restructuring or team rebuilding; be at the centre, as opposed to the periphery - your experience in the team and organisation will be an advantage.

Be the difference

This might be an opportunity to reinvent your role, to shake things up for the better, make things more exciting and dynamic. Not many opportunities come along like the Big Quit, so embrace it, embrace change, and try to actively improve the situation for yourself, your new and old colleagues, and your organisation.

Back to listing