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The Great Resignation: 3 Quick Thoughts for Overwhelmed Job Seekers

Sep 2, 2021 | Career Advice, Career Transition, Job Search Help

The Great Resignation is happening all around us. The most recent published surveys have 95% of workers considering leaving their job! With so much volatility, it can be overwhelming for job seekers to try and make sense of what this means for their job search.

Need help navigating the Great Resignation as a job seeker?

As you read this blog, there is a good chance you may be among those thinking of making a change. However, seeing so much volatility can often lead those considering a change to “sit out and wait for the dust to settle.”

They do this because so much uncertainty can make it more intimidating than it really needs to be. Doing this will only lead to staying in whatever rut you are in currently.

Here are three quick thoughts for job seekers who may be overwhelmed with deciphering what all of this volatility in the labour market means for them.

Hopefully, these thoughts give you the confidence you need to press ahead if a change would be best for your career.


Go After a Job You’ve Always Wanted

Lots of volatility means lots of opportunities if you are seeking a new job.

Many companies that reduced their workforces because of COVID-19 are now ramping up their hiring as business returns to them. At the same time, many people are quitting their job, and fewer people are applying to jobs than before. These things are all combining for a labour shortage in many industries.

With so many jobs open and not enough people to fill them all, this presents an excellent opportunity for you to go after that one job you’ve always wanted. It represents quite possibly the best opportunity you will ever have in your career to do so.

With fewer people applying to a larger number of job openings, your probability of landing a job anywhere is much higher. Many things can define what the job you’ve always wanted looks like. It could be specific roles and responsibilities you find challenging, a target company you’ve always wanted to work for, or different compensation level.

Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted, this is the best chance you’ve had in your career to land the job that has what you need.


Stretch Your Compensation

Have you ever received a job offer with two weeks of paid vacation when you were hoping for three weeks? Or a job offer that was a few thousand dollars less than you’d expected?

If that happens to you during this labour shortage, this is the best chance you have to stretch your compensation package a bit.

Now, don’t take this the wrong way. Don’t exploit or extort the situation. But there’s nothing wrong with professionally asking a potential employer for a little more.

Posing the question like this: “I noticed that the role starts with two weeks vacation, is there any opportunity to get three instead to match my spouse?” is professional. Saying, “I know it’s hard to find employees, so I’m not accepting this offer without an extra week of vacation,” is trying to exploit the situation.

Saying, “I’ve always wanted to make a little bit more to give more to my family, is that possible?” is genuine.

With the current labour shortage, good companies will be more likely to meet you in the middle if you are reasonable. If you receive an offer that you wished was slightly better, now is a great time to ask the question.

If you receive an entirely underwhelming offer, you would be better off politely declining and continuing your search, especially with so many job openings out there.


Have You Considered Freelancing?

This choice takes some courage because you don’t know how your next paycheque is going to come. But if you’ve ever wanted to freelance, the Great Resignation creates an excellent opportunity to do so.

With more and more companies struggling to find full-time labour, they are becoming more open to asking freelancers to do pieces of the jobs they can’t fill. Frankly, they won’t have a choice if they want the work completed.

If there’s one thing that you do excpetionally well, it’s getting easier and easier to sell that one thing to companies as a contractor or freelancer.

Freelancing was already on the rise before the pandemic began. There is a high likelihood the pandemic will cause it to rise even more for a few reasons.

As employers begin to roll out their decisions on working conditions as the pandemic ends, many people thinking of resigning from their jobs will make a decision. Many will want to work remotely permanently or in a hybrid model where they go to the office when they need. Companies that mandate everyone back to the office full-time will lose employees as a result.

Freelancing also provides greater flexibility in your schedule. The pandemic has caused many people to re-evaluate how their work fits in with their priorities. Freelancing becomes more and more attractive to people as we value time with our families and experience more. You are your own boss, and you can often work from anywhere.

Lastly, freelancing provides an opportunity to earn more money. The immense economic volatility at the dawn of the pandemic has forced many people to consider how they can be better insulated financially from similar situations in the future. The increased potential earning power of freelancing makes it more attractive to those presently in traditional jobs.

If you’ve ever considered freelancing, it may be a great time to give it a try. If you’ve never considered it, this is a great time to do so.

Be smart and make sure you have enough seed money to build your business and a clear financial plan if you do.

Freelancing can be a scary step to take, but if done right, it often results in an improved financial situation with greater flexibility.


There are many people out there for whom a career change is right and needed. Sadly, so much volatility can overwhelm people inaction and stay in the same rut they are in presently.

Hopefully, these three thoughts provide you the confidence and peace of mind you need to act if you are in a position where you need to.

There’s never been more opportunity out there, now is your chance to better yourself.

If you need any help navigating these uncertain times, I am here for you!

Tim Dyck
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