People have been making big changes in their lives since the world began to reopen—and nowhere has this been more evident than in the job market. From the perspective of talent acquisition, there’s truly never been anything quite like the Great Resignation.
The pandemic gave many people the opportunity to reconsider priorities and values—and determine if their career fit in. Others may have just been feeling restless and ready for something different. No matter the reason, there may be some who now find themselves in a new job that wasn’t exactly what they were promised or thought it would be.
Our talent acquisition team speaks with candidates in this very situation each day. We know what will help an employer understand your position—and what might make them move on. Here are our tips and tricks for leveraging this unique situation and to find a role that’s a much better fit.
Everyone’s had to make tough decisions in the last two years, and not every decision was the right one—that’s ok! While it may be tempting to move quickly to get out of an unpleasant situation, now’s the time to take a pause and consider what you really want in your next role. Creating a career vision statement or a three-year letter to your future self can help you articulate what kind of environments you thrive in and what you are looking for in terms of responsibilities, managers, and culture—and what is not working with your current role. Whatever format you use, write it down so you can be prepared to discuss your career aspirations in interviews.
Whether you were laid off, voluntarily left a job to tend to family matters, or took a job that you now regret, it’s your narrative—so own it. Be honest—but not negative—with yourself and your prospective employer. When asked why you are looking for a new job, lead with facts instead of feelings. Prepare for your interview by outlining the facts that you used to make your decisions without saying, “I felt this, so I did that.” And always remember that when sharing details about reasons for leaving or looking, less is always more. Write out your narrative, and if it’s more than two or three sentences, it’s too much.
Use your career vision statement to have an honest conversation with your prospective employer. Don’t give answers you think they want to hear if it’s not something that you believe or aren’t comfortable with. Employers want to find the right fit as much as you do so that they’re not having to recruit for the same role again in six months. It’s always better to be passed over for a job because the company didn’t think that you’d enjoy it rather than accepting a job with a company whose values and culture don’t align with yours and hoping that they will change (they won’t).
Experts are predicting the Great Resignation may lead to a rise in the boomerang, an employee who returns to their company after some time away. Many companies are looking at boomerang employees more favorably to help fill their talent pipeline. It’s important to consider why you left in the first place—if it was due to cultural issues or a values misalignment, a boomerang back will not fix that. But in the right circumstances, boomerangs are a win-win for both the employee and the employer. In this case, it’s best to start the conversation by reaching out to a former manager or leader you have a relationship with instead of a recruiter.
Mistakes happen—they’re common. What’s important is to take a step back to evaluate how and why you got where you are, and how you communicate your needs and goals so you don’t find yourself in the same situation again.