The Hidden (But Huge) Career Upside of the Great Resignation

By Michael Bailey, Chief Technology Officer

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to let go of hard-held assumptions regarding our work lives, many have decided that change was needed. That change may have been taking a new job in the same industry or completely changing direction, whether that be a new location, new industry/career, or new hobbies.

For those who were not part of the migration themselves, we have all been impacted to some degree by this once in a lifetime shift. When talking with contacts in various industries, the conversation starts with the immediate challenge of replacing great people, but if pushed a bit, we have almost every time found golden nuggets of positive impact.

From a company’s perspective, if someone resigns it likely indicates they were ready for change and may not have been fully engaged anyway. While we may have lost some great people, we now have a fully engaged group who remain AND new additions who bring fresh new perspectives to their roles in the company.

From the perspective of those who stay, this ‘event’ has potentially opened up more opportunity than at any time in their careers. Think about it. When someone leaves, there invariably is a temporary void. Even if that person is swiftly replaced with someone from the outside, there is a knowledge void for a while. These voids represent opportunity.

After losing a few good people on my current team, our culture is such we decided to fill those roles with internal candidates. By giving them new stretch assignments, they received more opportunity as they focused on new things. That’s why we encourage every employee to ask ‘Why Not Me?’ when they see such an opening,

I am convinced this window of time will be the turning point for many people’s careers and in many cases, those who stayed and embraced opportunity vs. moving on will have gained the most benefit.

I understand both mindsets but for ‘those who stay’ – take advantage!