The pandemic has created a new normal for many: working from home, juggling work and balancing family priorities. It has also given people a chance to reflect on their lives and careers. Many are choosing to quit what they are doing and seek jobs with improved compensation, better work life balance, or to follow a calling or passion.
This has been dubbed the Great Resignation, and has been very prevalent in the US. It’s now coming to Canada.
However, just because everyone you know is quitting their jobs, doesn’t mean you should. I’d suggest looking at these first.
Understand your why
Why do you want to quit your job in the first place? Be very specific and clear. Is it because of pay? Are you under-challenged? Do you want to keep working from home? Do you want to work part-time or different hours?
As surprising as this may sound to you, all these topics can be brought-up to your employer. Furthermore, they can be negotiated.
A little communication can actually go a long way in changing things at work.
If you’ve tried this to no avail, or worse you’re in a toxic environment and it’s impacting your health, or your job is no longer talking to you, then it’s time to move on.
Have a career plan
It’s always best to have something else lined-up before quitting your job. If you want to remain an employee, being employed is helpful when negotiating your salary with a prospective new employer.
When targeting possible new companies, be very clear about your top needs and preferences in a new role. Come up with a list of the top five non-negotiable things you need, as well as what you would prefer to have in your next job.
If you want to become self-employed, further planning will usually be required, unless you’re working in an in-demand sector and already have a few clients lined-up. Consider keeping a part-time job until your business is more stable.
If you want to return to school, you need to make sure your training will yield the expected outcome for your career, i.e. propel you forward.
Too many people return to school because they don’t know what else to do, or because they think it’ll automatically translate into higher pay and greater career prospects. It’s not necessarily the case. In the end, they’re back to square one and saddled with student loan debt. That brings me to my next point.
Have a financial plan
Unfortunately, your bills won’t stop coming because you quit your job. If you resign you won’t be eligible for E.I. or severance pay from your employer.
Forget about applying for Covid benefits. The Canada Recovery Benefit -CRB- has ended and is being replaced by the much more targeted Worker Lockdown Benefit.
It’s crucial to assess your liquidity, and how long you’d be able to stay afloat if you quit your job without anything lined-up.
If you have a spouse/partner, talk to them! Your decision will impact your family finances, not just yours. They need to be part of your decision.
Tweak your budget to accommodate the temporary financial shortfall. If you don’t have a budget, then it’s time to create one.
Remember your obligations towards your employer
In most cases, you are required to give a minimum amount of notice when leaving your job. Depending on your position and your contract, you may have to give additional notice.
Not burning bridges is important. You never know if and when you’ll cross paths again with a former employer. Your former colleagues could also lead you to your next opportunity.