Is ‘the great resignation’ part of our new normal?

It’s obvious that 2020 changed life as we know it – too many of us lost loved ones, navigated unimaginable challenges balancing careers and family, and lived with the uncertainty of the “new normal.”

Even the term “new normal” tries to comfort us that normal will return, even if it’s not like it once was.

So how do we navigate the “new normal” professionally? While many are returning to the workplace full-time or in a hybrid model, even more are on the hunt for new jobs. The search for increased pay, better benefits and more flexibility has led to what Professor Anthony Klotz calls the “Great Resignation.”

“People were hunkering down in their jobs during the pandemic — even if they hated their boss — and were patiently waiting for the tides to turn,” Klotz said in an interview with Forbes magazine. As restrictions eased, Klotz predicted the trend toward mass resignations we’ve seen throughout the spring and summer.

If waves of people are resigning, you might find yourself wondering if you should do the same. Whether you are considering a change or are committed to your current employer, now might be a good time to audit your professional goals.

To begin an audit, take some time to truly reflect on what you want to achieve in your career.

Do you want to make a lasting impact? Do you want to lead a team? Do you want to be empowered to make decisions? Do you want others to respect your opinion and value your influence? Thinking about your goals can provide clarity about where you want to go — and if your current job can help you get there.

Professional development also is a critical part of this process. Learning opportunities are everywhere if you take a moment to look. If you have a certain skill you’d like to develop, consider volunteering with a local organization or non-profit. Spending time contributing to the common good is a unique way to change lives.

Developing a new skill also comes from research and studying the work of others. There are many small ways you can add professional development to your routine.

Are you able to listen to a podcast while you get ready for your day? Maybe spend your lunch break reading a book? Have you thought about completing a professional development course instead of scrolling social media each day? Making professional development a priority is instrumental when working toward your goals.

So, is it time to give your notice and join the resignation movement? Hopefully only after serious consideration and self-reflection.

As we define the “new normal,” investing in yourself can provide some clarity in a time of uncertainty. Not only will it make you a more competitive applicant should you decide to make a career move, but it will also help you reach your full potential, achieve your goals, and live a more fulfilling and authentic life.