What Can We Learn From #TheGreatResignation?

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Anthony Klotz, a management professor at Texas A&M first discussed what he called The Great Resignation as a prediction back in 2019. Klotz saw the writing on the wall and foresaw an upcoming mass exodus of individuals from their jobs.

April – June of this year saw a whopping 11.5 million American workers quit their jobs, according to the US Department of Labor. It is now estimated that between 40-45% of US employees are in the process of leaving their positions with the numbers as high as 54% in some industries.

The Great Resignation is also being felt beyond the US borders. Companies in Europe’s largest economy, Germany, have reported a great loss in talent and challenges in finding skilled workers to fulfill necessary jobs.

This phenomenon has a tremendous impact at every level. So, what gives? Why are so many choosing to make this transition?

According to various polls, many cite stress and burnout coupled with “ah-ha” moment realizations that arose, for most, during the quarantine lockdown months. Many have come to understand there are wide gaps between their quality of life realities and their intentions and the choices they have been making.

In short, people are simply tired of putting in so much time and effort and feeling unfulfilled and undervalued at work.

The time we have all had to reassess what is important has allowed us to wake up and see, with crystal clarity, how our decisions create our actions and outcomes. And we want something different. We have also each experienced loss, in some form or another, and this has increased the value we place on life and the current moment – whether we are aware of it or not. We want to make and receive the most out of life, and with so much change and uncertainty in our realities, we are called to act now.

In so many ways, it is indeed A Great Awakening, and it isn’t only jobs that people are choosing to transition from en masse. Relationships, habits, and physical locations are all undergoing immense scrutiny, as we choose to overhaul and realign ourselves to what feels and is better for us.

We are asking ourselves more serious questions about value, communication, and what is, in fact, right for us and what is simply not. This call to awaken is asking for us to begin the process of becoming more intentionally purposeful and responsible to what we came to our lives to do, be, and build.

What if we were to consider, for a moment, that we are waking up to learn the process of inner alignment? Where we can finally see and act clearly because we are coming from a true sense of congruency within ourselves. What if awakening is ultimately about owning who we are, how we think and what we are here to contribute, not from a place of external expectation, but from a space of internal knowing? If this is the case, then we would need to, first, come out of the deep sleep we have been in that has kept us from this ownership process. We would need to get to a place of being resigned to do so.

So, as I see it, the world is awakening.

And it is important to be aware that we are in this together. We truly always have been. Just as the current changes in the US job market are affecting everyone on some level and will continue to have a larger and larger impact in the years to come, everything that we create as a world culture challenges and supports the growth we seek individually and collectively. I love considering the quote by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” It is not only that we can do so much, but that we always DO make a tidal wave impact when we act collectively.

When we are met with extreme change and restructuring in our lives, it’s for a reason. It is something, to some extent, we have each been a part of creating. The situation is not meant to simply “go away.” It is there to build us by creating a force that will make room for what is meant to emerge next.

So, what if we were to look at the concept of #TheGreatResignation from a higher perspective? Could it actually refer to each of us becoming more fully awakened and resigned to going through the process of finding the value, purpose, deep fulfillment, and joy in who we are and what we are here to do?

After all, birth has never been a comfortable process, but we all know the benefits it delivers.