The Great Resignation – In Search of a Better Career 3 minute read Written by Shawn Bakker, Psychologist People have been changing careers in large numbers since the pandemic began. A workplace survey conducted by Microsoft found that 41% of workers were considering changing professions or quitting this year. Many people are asking themselves what they want to get out of work, and whether a career change would lead to increased satisfaction in life. Some economists have begun referring to it as the “Great Resignation.” While the percentage of people changing careers may have increased, it is not a novel activity. Most of use make several career shifts during our lifetime. Choosing a path of study, starting work, changing jobs, and considering how to spend retirement are among the many career decisions we make. Successful career choices effectively take into account who you are as a person, and the specific circumstances in which you find yourself. What was satisfying and enjoyable at one time in your life, may not necessarily remain so later on. At Psychometrics our work involves helping people better understand themselves and use this understanding to make decisions. When it comes to changing careers and finding something better, self-awareness is key to help you answer “What is the career for me?” This is not always an easy question to answer. However, if you can break the career decision making process down into manageable steps, identifying desirable career options is much less intimidating. Step One – Know Yourself Can you describe what type of person you are? I know that most of us think we can, but I dare you to try it. Make a list of your skills, interests, personal style, and main motivators. Having a firm grasp of who you are, what you like to do, and what you want to get from life will go a long way in finding a satisfying career. We have developed two assessment tools to help people gain greater awareness and set themselves up for career success. The Work Personality Index Career Report and the Career Values Scale can help you clarify your workplace passions and desires. Step Two – Know what is out there This step involves investigating occupations with the knowledge of yourself gathered in Step One. Based on the skills, interests, values and needs you have identified, what career options appear to be the most suitable? When you are able to identify the kind of tasks and activities you would like to do, it is easy to determine whether a career will fit. Step Three – Set Goals and Make Decisions Now that you know more about yourself and have identified some possible career options, you are ready to make some decisions. Gather the facts for each career option and weigh how well each career will satisfy your needs and wants. This is also when you need to consider the realities of the job market and perhaps make compromises as you choose a path to follow. Step Four – Implement Your Decision Once you have made a career choice you need to act on it. You may need to acquire new skills and get further training and education. If you already have the required skills you may begin preparing for the job search, and networking job leads. When implementing your decision you may encounter a number of barriers that get in your way. These obstacles can come from yourself (fears of failure, perfectionism, etc) or from your environment (family pressures, economy, etc). A lot of people are asking themselves what they want to get out of work, and whether a career change would lead to increased satisfaction in life. Individually these questions can be stressful and challenging, but it is important to recognize you are not alone – millions of people are also asking the same questions. It’s common, it’s frequent and it’s a natural part of our maturing and development process. By following the four steps listed above you will reduce some of the anxiety you feel and give you some measure of confidence in your decisions.