We Get Real AF

Ep 81: Profesh Sesh: The Great Resignation of 2021

July 29, 2021 Vanessa Alava & Sue Robinson Season 2 Episode 81
We Get Real AF
Ep 81: Profesh Sesh: The Great Resignation of 2021
Show Notes Transcript

Vanessa, Sue, & Alisa talk about mass resignations amidst the aftermath of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Producers & Hosts: Vanessa Alava & Sue Robinson

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Sue Robinson

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Audio Producer/Editor: Sam Mclean  

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Technical Director: Mitchell Machado

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Audio Music Track Title: Beatles Unite

Artist: Rachel K. Collier

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Intro Voice-Over Artist: Veronica Horta

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Cover Artwork Photo Credit: Alice Moore 

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Vanessa Alava  

light of what we're considering, almost like the aftermath of the last year and a half with the COVID-19 pandemic, we're starting to see, many people realize, hmm, there was a silver lining, in being able to work wherever I wanted to the quality of life that I have. Maybe I want to try something new. Maybe I want to explore other companies that are more progressive and forward thinking and allow me to continue that way of life. Mass resignations. So Alisa, our career coach, talent specialist is going to be covering what else we can expect to see with mass resignations. What do you think Alisa? 

 

Alisa Walters 

Yeah, so they're calling it the great resignation of 2021. And as since April, about 2.7% of Americans have left their jobs. And it's happening because after a year and a half of being in lockdown, and burned out from their current situation. Maybe people who have been waiting that they were ready, they wanted to make a change. But then this global pandemic happened, we're seeing people come forward and resign from those jobs. People's mindset, their priorities have shifted as a result of the global pandemic, and that's what's happening here is is people are, are making changes that are in line with what they need what they want. And I was reading a Forbes article, and they called out that the increase in medical school and law school applications is up. And that people are looking to change careers altogether, people are interested in becoming more entrepreneurial, and starting their own business, a lot of people getting out of that nine to five. And then, you know, we had this conversation about remote work and how to ask for that. There are a lot of companies that their their structure, or not, maybe they're not allowing employees to work 100% remotely, maybe employees are coming back in a hybrid model. And that's just not what that particular individual needs for whatever the case might be. And I think the global pandemic brought a lot of things to light, right, we work so much. And then you put in what's happening in our personal lives, kids, elderly parents that were caring for and how to juggle all of that. And when you come out of on the other side, and you've survived what we've all gone through in in 2020. It is a huge mind shift. You know, and I think that that's, we're now seeing be after effects. And I think, you know, I think for the better I think that this is, you know, we're also we're looking at where there's a lot of industries that are having a really hard time finding people to work specifically in hospitality and restaurants. And I think we're seeing that as a result of one people realizing that in those roles, they are at risk for, you know, for potentially catching COVID. But then also, you know, I I'm only going to touch the surface here. But when you have unemployment offering, and you can make more on unemployment, versus working a eight hour day at minimum wage, barely able to scratch the surface. Well, that's a no brainer. People have to live and the way we were living before and during the pandemic is just not not sustainable for so many people.

 

Sue Robinson  

It's interesting because I read an article recently about how many people were quote unquote sheltering in place in their jobs during the pandemic, because those you know, it was a very uncertain time and people are maybe staying longer, and roles that didn't no longer suit them than they would have otherwise. And so I think that that's definitely part of what's driving this great resignation. In addition to all the other things, we've touched on people really rethinking their life priorities and what their options could be and We've all discovered that we can work differently now. And if you can't unknow what you know, what we've all learned in the past year, which is that sometimes you don't have to drive 45 minutes to an hour to sit at a different desk and do the exact same work. So it's a really interesting time and a time to open up new possibilities for all of us. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations for people who feel like, oh, maybe I need to be joining the movement here? Like, how do they evaluate that decision? I know, we've talked about decision mapping and career mapping in the past 

 

Alisa Walters 

I definitely think so going back to creating that, that career mapping, desire mapping, life mapping is really instrumental. I think it's getting clear and, and really recognizing that, with what we've experienced over the last year and a half that there is, there is freedom, you know, and and if if you're in an environment, I love that sheltered in place with when it comes to the workplace. I think that if you are in a position to start making the changes to make that graceful exit from your current company, start that business. And just be clear about that timeline, right? setting, setting the goals of when you're going to make this happen, maybe you can't just walk into your employer today and say, Hey, I quit, I'm done. But start to put those wheels in motion, and really get clear as to what that next step is going to look like. You don't have to if you especially if you are starting a small business, you don't have to have the end result. Just pick a place where you're going to start and and and start to take those steps one foot in front of the other. What we've all learned is that a life is too short. And community is so important. And I think that why, why are we Why are we sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day. And something that a lot of people are not happy doing. They're just doing it. Because of the grind. I think we've we've learned so much and so much about ourselves. And I think it's more about being clear, map it out, have a plan and come up with a timeline.

 

Vanessa Alava  

I really want to acknowledge the the fair amount of people out there that these are new feelings, because of what you just said, you get a job, you want to be taken care of, if you have a family that extends even further, needing to pay bills needing to put food on the table. And you've been trained and fed this narrative of this is the way things go. And it has been this way. Status Quo for so long. And we had something I mean, in this era, that has really never happened to these few generations that are living that really impacted us in a very unprecedented way. And you're thinking, Okay, how do I deal with it? I'm now working remotely for the first time, okay, digesting that piece of it, and then saying, Wow, I remember even speaking to my mom about it, at first she was like, This is gonna be really different. there was some hesitancy there was like, this doesn't feel right. Like I don't know, the minute she got a hang of it. She was like, Wow, this is awesome. I am able to do this in the morning do that in the afternoon, where I would have been traveling all of these things, all of these realizations that kind of probably didn't happen from one day to the next. It took a minute to adjust. And then when they finally saw the impact, in a good way, you mentioned for good earlier and I was really honing in on it. So it's like, what can we do now? If I you know, during the pandemic, have you started taking a course and started like leaning into an interest of yours if you've decided, hey, I want to start my own business. It's okay. It's okay to have these feelings, these emotions going through like the stages of like acceptance, if you will. And what are you going to do with that? Some people are unfazed. Some people are like, I want to go back to what I know and that's fine. But for the people that are starting to feel these emotions that are new and probably scary, like community, lean into it, you're not the only one reach out to people that are having the same thoughts. And you never know what amazing things can happen. come from those, those new things that are going through your brain, those new skills, you're acquiring what opportunities lie there for new jobs with companies that may have felt unattainable before, or even starting your own business, like it's okay to have these feelings, okay to be vulnerable enough to say, this is scary, but I feel like I need to explore and that that's what I really want to lean into. And I think that Sue, and I have definitely leaned into it on our own.

 

Alisa Walters

I love that you honed in on that we as humans, and I think that that is what's what is, I think so many of us can take away from the pandemic is, we as humans, we are adaptable. And when we first started that, when we first went into, you know, quarantine, it was scary, I have so many unknowns. And as the days went by, you just do you just figure it out, and you just, you adapt. And I think that is such a powerful point. And not to get too sidetracked here. But there is a nat geo documentary came out a couple of years ago, and it was called, it's all about the Blue Zones. Are you familiar with the Blue Zones? Mm hmm. So in this documentary, this journalist, he goes and explores where more talent where people live the longest, and lives in that culture for a short amount of time and tries to and studies, what is it about this particular place, that people are living the longest. And I always, I've been thinking so much more about that, over the last year and a half, because he goes to places in Italy and Greece and Japan, and he looks at somebody their diet and their community and their relationships, and how much they work and their their physical exercise. Even in this crazy state of living that we we've lived in for the last, you know, prior pre pandemic, even our workouts are crazy. And, you know, they talk about taking walks with your community at lunchtime, and cooking together and having a glass of wine every day. And just taking that time, you know, the lunch hour to just be with the people that you love and enjoy life. And I think that I think we're gonna see more of that, as we continue to move forward and move in this post COVID world,

 

Sue Robinson  

right. So I think, in a lot of ways the pandemic did open up, but an opportunity to see our lives differently was a wakeup call, in a lot of ways, right? In some ways, a good wake up call. And I don't in any way mean to dismiss the suffering and and the hardship that it caused. But but it did give us the chance to stop and look at the way we were living our lives and say, Is this all really necessary? And is this the life that I want? And is this the best way to go through my days, right? And I remember in the beginning, when we were on lockdown, my husband and I, and I've mentioned this before in the podcast, but we would go for walks in the evenings. And that was a time when I would normally be sitting in a traffic jam, that 45 minute window. And here I was walking with my best friend, you know, planning, talking just being together. It was a beautiful spring. And it made me think months and months later. Why do I ever want to give that up? Why don't I write write a workday where this can be something that is part of my life, that this extra time and this extra community that's that's as important to my life as as the paycheck and the daily grind. And so,

 

Vanessa Alava 

so there is that gift that 2020 gave each of us if we choose to acknowledge it and embrace it, absolutely, we talk about different forms of currency. And that is a different form of currency. So filling your cup, the flexibility, the freedom, the agency to do that. Stress is a killer. It is. And I think a lot of people even with different you know, diabetes, or heart attacks or panic attacks, all these things. Stress leads into all of those and feeds into all of those. So if you can lower your stress level by, hey, I'm going to take a walk during lunch, and it's going to be an hour hour 15 minutes for I'm not going to look at my computer. I'm not going to sit at my desk and eat while I work. I'm going to have a glass of wine every afternoon because That just fills fills my cup. I like wine. I like cheese, and I'm good. Like all these little micro things that you do that take the edge off. I mean, why not. And if you can get that time, time, time for me is like one of my, it scares me, right? Like, it's one of those things that you can't make more of, really, unless you do things like this little thing throughout your day. And if you can lean into it and spend more time with your family at times where you would normally be in traffic, or normally be in a meeting, or normally taking bites out of your lunch, just to rush to the next meeting. Like, that's no one in live man.

 

Sue Robinson  

I just wanted to piggyback on that. We want to be respectful of the fact that everybody has the kind of job where you can work on a computer from anywhere. Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I just want to point that out, because I know not everybody has that. That same luxury. However, what you just said Vanessa I think we can all benefit from even if we do have to walk into a manufacturing facility or you know, do other kinds of work, that does require us to be in that same role physically. Look for those opportunities to give yourself that time to fill your cup in whatever role you have let that be your lesson from 2020. Regardless of what kind of role you have, and what kinds of options you realistically have

 

Vanessa Alava  

to lean into that a little bit. Sue? Alisa, don't you have leverage now, because of what we've all experienced, no matter what job you have, whether that be at a factory, whether that be at home, to have that conversation with your employer and say, Hey, I need this. Right.

 

Alisa Walters 

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, we talked about setting boundaries and saying no, and, and having those assertive conversations, and I think that we've all been in it, you know, and we've all had different experiences, some people have been very isolated, some people have lost their community lost loved ones, I think we can all agree. What we can all take from this is that those meaningful parts of your day, if that's what you can have control over. And you can go to your you know, your supervisor, or, or whoever it may be, and say, from this time, this time, I need this time, this is, you know, this is my lunch break when I walk away, and I take a walk and I'm away. And it's it's being more assertive about what, what you need going forward and taking those little things that have become important to you, or letting go of the things that were really hard for you during this pandemic. And using that to take you to a better place and and ultimately, be happy.

 

Sue Robinson  

And I think that now is the time to have that conversation with your employer, because mental health has never been more discussed. And it has in this past year. And so I think that any employer is going to be more receptive to this conversation than they would have been prior to the pandemic. Because if for no other reason, we've all heard so much about the mental health toll that the past year and a half is taken and that it needs to be addressed. So that's another silver lining is that I think that the time is right to have those conversations, and you'll probably have a more receptive audience.

 

Vanessa Alava  

And I just want to acknowledge with that, it can be scary, especially if it's not in your personality to approach these types of things. It can be scary, but to Sue's point, now is the best time. And then I'm gonna add another layer, you may not get the reaction you want. There might be employers out there that aren't nimble, and don't want to but this is an opportunity for you to say, Okay, I hear you, I now need to make a change. And that doesn't mean you storm out. But you start setting the tone, to find an organization that aligns with your values with what you need, and empower yourself to do that. 100% 

 

Alisa Walters 

The mental health component of all of this is, is also another reason why people are just like, I'm done. I'm over it. Yeah, you know, protecting their mental health and working on that side of things. I think that's also a big contributing factor to what is being called the Great resignation.

 

Sue Robinson  

and I think, you know, another practical tool, then if you are one of those people, and this, you're seeing the handwriting on the wall, is look at your finances. Think about how much money you have that you need to tide you over and just start getting your ducks in a row. Come up with a checklist of what it is you need. What kind of industry you want to be in what skills you need to have, write it down to organize your thoughts. And a piece of that, again, is figuring out your finances and then come up with that plan in that timeline that Elisa mentioned at the very beginning so that you can bite off a chunk at a time and it doesn't feel overwhelming. And you can actually make some change in your life if that is what you are called to at this point. 

 

Vanessa Alava  

Great advice, Sue. And we also have a completely separate episode with Alisa talking about decision mapping, career mapping, so if you haven't listened to that yet, we invite you to go and take a listen because we take a deep dive there if you don't really know what that is or how to even embark on doing that. We have an episode just for.

 

Sue Robinson  

Thank you, Alisa.

 

Vanessa Alava  

Thanks.