Great Resignation: What To Look For In Your Job Search

Millions of people are leaving their jobs in search of better pay, more flexibility, and work-life balance. In August, a record-breaking 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in, according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While people are leaving their jobs to pursue other interests, many are looking for new roles: “I think over the last two years, we’ve seen a lot of folks take part in this Great Resignation. They’re looking for employers that are going to value work-life balance, because that looks a lot different now,” says Emily Durham, senior recruiter at Intuit Canada. Others seek increased flexibility, more remote work opportunities, and higher pay.

“The Great Resignation does mean that it’s even more competitive as you are searching for roles. But on the other hand, it means there are more roles available,” says Durham.

Here are three things to keep in mind if you’re looking for a new role or reentering the workforce after some time away.

Use your network
As opposed to searching job boards, try your hand at networking. “It is always going to be a very key part of developing your personal and professional brand and making sure that you’re creating opportunities for yourself,” Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, said about networking last year.

Nearly 4 in 10 job hunters, 37%, say they learn about jobs “through professional networks,” per a 2019 survey from Jobvite.

Use LinkedIn’s Groups feature to find new connections in your industry. You can search for existing groups or create new ones for professionals in your field. This, Durham says, can give you a leg up on other candidates: “It can help you identify postings that might not even be online yet.”

Research company culture
Employees reported a 22% increase in burnout and a 17% increase in physical symptoms of stress like muscle tension and fatigue, as well as added work-life balance challenges and overall job stress, between December 2020 and July 2021, according to a survey by the digital wellness company meQuilibrium.

With burnout and work-life balance being top concerns for many leaving their jobs, Durham says it is worth taking some time to research a company’s culture. Visit sites like Reddit and Glassdoor, she suggests, to find out how employees really feel at specific companies.

“I think over the last two years, we’ve seen a lot of folks looking for employers that are going to value work-life balance, because that looks a lot different now,” Durham says. “How companies have treated their employees over the last two years says much more than what’s going to be listed on their career site.”

Do your homework to prep for tough conversations
More people are steeling themselves to ask for what they want at work. It can help to do your homework and even practice having tricky conversations, like those about salary, for example, Durham says: “If we prepare and get really crisp about knowing our worth, it can make those discussions a little bit less painful.”

Durham recommends using websites like PayScale and Glassdoor to understand what the market values are for someone with similar skill levels in your area. “It’s perfectly appropriate for you to say, ‘I believe I’m worth X because the market data shows [that] we’re seeing a growth in the industry, and I bring XYZ unique experience to the table,’” she says.

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