According to FORTUNE Magazine, the Great Resignation has stunned many business owners and employers. Believe it or not, nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers are looking to change jobs or leave the workforce altogether.
“Researchers have revealed turnover patterns that can explain why so many are quitting in droves right now. Employers looking to stop the exodus should pay attention: Much of the onus is on them to give workers better reasons to stay.
Research has shown that people tend to quit their jobs after experiencing a “turnover shock”: a life event that precipitates self-reflection about one’s job satisfaction. Shocks can be positive, like grad school acceptance or a new baby, or negative, like a divorce or sick relative. Or they can be global catastrophes like COVID-19 that upend every aspect of daily life.”
While many people might leave their jobs thanks to a blessed occasion or simply because they’re bored or looking for something new, that’s not always why we make changes. Sometimes change is forced on us by circumstances we’d rather not have to deal with.
Real estate professionals call these circumstances the Seven Ds—Divorce, Downsizing, Disease, Disability, Disasters, Debt, and Death. Other than the blessings of a larger family or greater income, the Seven Ds are the main reasons people sell their homes and look for new places to live. They can also be the reasons why people finally decide to ditch their careers or their lifestyles and move on, especially if you add two more Ds—Dissatisfaction and Disappointment.
So what’s bringing you down?
Maybe you find yourself dragged down by national and world events you find undecipherable. If so, let me try to help you get some of those thoughts out of the way so you can look at your job – and your life – with fresh eyes. From Nicolas Kristof’s NYT op-ed: “In the long arc of human history … (this) has been the best year ever. The bad things that you fret about are true. But it’s also true that since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate, and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.”
Or as historian Yuval Noah Harari pointed out in Sapiens, “for the first time in human history more people died throughout the world from their indulgent diets than from the violence of war and crime combined. In other words, sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.”
With all the chatter in our heads, it’s no wonder we’re conflicted. Not only do we not know what to do with our careers or our lives, we don’t even know if we should proceed with caution or throw caution to the wind and go for it—whatever “it” turns out to be.
Worse, while we don’t know how much time we have left and we don’t know what we should be doing between now and then, we do know what common fate awaits us all at the end—and it’s the same end whether it comes in 20 minutes or 20 years.
“No matter what you do, it’s all just going to run together by the time you’re 50.” said Blythe Danner’s character in the coming of (old) age dramcom, I’ll See You in My Dreams.
“People can spend their whole lives… waiting to find that feeling, trying to find that feeling over and over. And at the end, everybody gets it. We wait our whole lives for something, and we get it. And you know what that is?”
“Happiness?” her hopeful young friend Lloyd asks.
“It’s death.” she deadpans.
Over 160 artists have recorded the popular country song that twangs, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” Today’s version could be everybody wants to live forever, but nobody wants to grow old.
What does this mean for you?
Now is the best time to move, to act, to change.
Now is the best time to prove that you don’t have to be defined by what you’ve done but instead by what you’re yet to accomplish.
Now is the best time to prove that not only must the show go on, but that you’re exactly the right person to make that happen.