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Why "The Great Resignation" Benefits Career Breaks

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

“The Great Resignation” is here in full force. The term, coined by Anthony Klotz, is a phenomenon when there’s a massive, voluntary exodus from the workforce. A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn found that in addition to the 11.5 million workers who have already quit between April-May of 2021, another 41% are considering it. Gallup found that 48% are actively looking for new opportunities.

Ironically, this creates incredible opportunities for career breakers.

Why is this happening? Workers are reconsidering life priorities; their personal values are aligned with employers’ values; they’re unable or unwilling to go back for those in-person mandates, and feeling overworked and underappreciated. While it’s a combination of reasons, people don’t take quitting lightly. It’s an agonizing decision that’s compounded during times of uncertainty. Yet millions are still doing it. One lesson from the pandemic is the amount of time we have on this planet is uncertain. For many, it means moving towards the YOLO economy.

Why is this a good thing for me? If you haven’t been working, either for years or recently laid off, you may be wondering what this mass exodus means for you when you’re not actually exiting a job. At some point though you are going to want to get back to work, and when you do this is why it’s good:

  • It’s a candidate’s job market (and will continue to be), which means a ton of new jobs are opening daily and companies are getting creative in hiring (i.e. actively looking for non-traditional candidates).

  • Remote work and flexibility are becoming increasingly available. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic and many who took a career break because of it cited lack of flexibility as the reason. Having more opportunities to work remotely can be a game changer, especially for parents trapped in long commutes.

How do I get ready?

  • Discernment: First take some quiet time to write everything down you liked and disliked about your past jobs. Even if overall you disliked the role or company, they are usually a couple of things you enjoyed. This includes paid and unpaid work. Next, circle recurring items and themes you see. (e.g. I loathed having to talk with clients, loved working with internal teams) These are the things you want to look for in your next jobs. They also highlight what you're good at and enjoy.

  • Pitch: You want to develop a concise way to talk about your skills and what you're looking to do next. For example, “I took a break during the pandemic as my industry changed and my family required at-home oversight. Now, I’m ready to get back to utilizing my expert administration and customer management skills.”

  • Resume/LinkedIn: While important, these two tools just need to be “good enough” to help with connections and growing your network. Think in terms of impact for responsibilities when updating, including metrics and outcomes. As for LinkedIn, use it consistently. Stay current in people's feeds. Comments are more important than reactions and reactions are more important than shares per the current algorithm.

  • Network: Growing your connections and utilizing your current community is key to getting your next role. Eighty percent of all job seekers gain employment through connections. Start customizing your pitch and talking to people about what you’re looking to do next. The next time you’re at a neighborhood gathering and someone asks you how you’re doing, say “Actually I’m looking to get back to work in project management.” Let people know what’s going on, and take a step further and tell them if they come across anyone that you think they should connect with please let you know. This gets easier the more you do it!

Whether you’ve been out of the workforce for 6 months or 6 years, the playing field is rapidly evolving- in your favor. Use this time to plan your job search strategy. And know you’re in great company with millions of other incredibly talented women and men who have stepped back and are now ready for their next career move.

Gain more resources and step by step guidance on how to get back to work with our newly released book, “Back to Business.” Including inspiring stories of how women returned to work and their journeys after a career pause. Also be sure to register for our new Accountability Program kicking off Oct 5th where you’ll be working with a community to support you along the way!

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