Does the thought of returning to work in person make you want to join “The Great Resignation?”
You aren’t alone. A Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 workers revealed that 41% were considering changing professions this year, and the US Department of Labor reported a record 4 million workers quit their jobs in April.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work, and many are finding their previous work lives are no longer a comfortable fit. They don’t want to get back to “normal,” if normal means a rigidly structured day, a long commute, and hefty dry-cleaning bills.
However, is quitting your job during what many consider the worst US recession in history a good idea?
Here are a few reasons why you might not want to quit just yet:
- You don’t have another job lined up. As the saying goes, it’s easier to find another job if you already have one. For one thing, you won’t have to explain an employment gap to a potential employer. It’s also less stressful. Being less anxious will likely make you interview more favorably, and you’ll be able to afford to be more selective if you can take your time accepting an offer.
- You haven’t saved 3-6 months of living expenses, which is the recommendation for how much to squirrel away if you plan to quit and find a similar job in your industry. Experts recommend socking away enough to cover one year’s expenses if you are switching careers or planning to become self-employed.
- Health coverage is expensive. COBRA extends your current plan from 18 up to 36 months under certain qualifying events, but you’ll be responsible for the entire premium each month. Before you turn in your notice, find out if you can get health coverage under a spouse’s plan or the nation’s public exchanges.
- The grass isn’t always greener. While the prospect of a new job can be enticing, we’re living in highly unpredictable times. If your current situation is tolerable, it might be worth waiting to see what happens in the job market post-pandemic.
- You might be able to negotiate. If you’re a high performer, you might be able to convince your employer to negotiate to retain a great employee. With the right approach, you could gain more flexibility, a pay increase, or more creative benefits. Exploring possibilities within the company can give you time to save money, max out company benefits, and build your 401K before making your exit.
Already have an offer for a new job? Congratulations! Here are some things to consider before saying yes:
These are uncertain times, and no one knows what will happen in the job market. Is your new company stable enough to weather a recession? Be sure to get your start date, benefits, and pay rate in writing.
Starting a new job takes a physical and emotional toll and making a big change in the wake of the pandemic can amplify your stress. At the same time, starting over, especially if working remotely, can be lonely and challenging. Before you make the leap, take stock and be realistic about whether you have the resilience to handle it well.
If you’re going to make a job change, think about the big picture benefits. Does the new job offer paid time off, company stock, or profit-sharing? Is a flexible schedule or working remotely a possibility? Many are finding their perspective has changed after the pandemic. Instead of their life accommodating their work, they want work to accommodate their life. Sometimes the primary benefit of a job isn’t the salary; it’s everything else that goes with it.
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