Before you join the Great Resignation, consider making these resolutions
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures report that a record 4.4 million people voluntarily resigned in September. Added to that is a study by the Workplace Institute, which shows that 15% of "boomerang" employees have returned to a former employer, and 40% would consider returning. It seems that the grass is not greener on the other side of a layoff.
If you're just a little antsy, but don't necessarily want a new job, you can try making some New Year's resolutions that can help you renew your passion for your current position.
Pay attention to your focus
Multitasking creates stress and makes you prone to mistakes, but many of us don't realize we're doing it and the damage it can do, says Thatcher Wine, author of The Twelve Monotasks: Do One Thing at a Time to Do Everything Better.
"Multitasking, like looking for a job while you're at work, can contribute to unhappiness," he says. "And you won't tend to make the best decisions."
Instead, when you're at work, monotask and give what you're doing your full focus.
"Even if you end up leaving, it's important to do a good job and keep your commitments," Wine says. "Employers will respect people who do a good job even if they plan to leave. They are more likely to give them a good reference and encourage their career."
People tend to think about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow, and this leads them to be disconnected from the present.
"The present moment is where everything happens; it's where we get our work done and it's where we connect with people," Wine says. "Instead of obsessing over the past and planning for the future, try to be where you are now. Maybe you'll find the things you love about your current job. Maybe you realize there are still many skills to build on where you are."
Look for more meaning
If you're bored at work, think about how you could do your job in a way that has much more meaning for you, suggests John Coleman, author of The HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose.
"Being locked in makes people a little more impulsive," he says. "Before you make a big change in your life, such as a job change, think about whether you can make the job you have the job you want. If you're ready to leave anyway, you have nothing to lose."
Employers may be open to letting you restructure your job to avoid losing you. "It's better for your company because suddenly they have an engaged, creative employee doing the work in new and exciting ways," says Coleman.
Bring joy into your life
Many of us focused too much on work during the pandemic at the expense of doing things for fun. Be sure to schedule relaxation and recreation so you can break free from the always-working mentality.
"Instead of winding down by thinking about what happened that day, loosen up by doing something fun and compelling that takes your mind off everything," Wine says. "If you don't know what to do, pick a friend who seems to be having a lot more fun than you are and go with him or her. Then let go of everything in your head."
It's important to create downtime each week, Wine says. "Most of us work 50 weeks a year and take two weeks of vacation," he says. "There needs to be a little bit more of a constant replenishment and nourishment."
Wine recommends building breaks into your workday. "The moment when you feel like you have so much work to do and you feel stressed is exactly the time when you should go for a walk," he says. "And if you think about taking a break after you've done your eight hours of work, you'll feel better and come back to work feeling more refreshed and more connected to yourself instead of being a workaholic zombie."
Strive for balance
Before the pandemic, many of us postponed gratification by putting in hours and expecting to recoup the benefits later, says Ethan Kross, author of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It.
"People are now faced with the recognition that there may not be a later on," he says. "We're seeing more of a prioritization of family life and living in the moment."
While Kross says you could argue that employee balance is better than it was a year ago, it's important to constantly offset immediate gratification with long-term planning. "The anti-work movement isn't a sustainable way to live," he says. "Investing in those 401ks and getting back to work is important. I suspect we'll see the pendulum begin to swing again toward better balance."
Be More Self-Reliant
During the pandemic, a lot of employees felt their employers had scaled back on their personal development. Instead, it's important to be more self-reliant, making sure you get the coaching and development you need, says David Novak, former CEO of YUM! Brands and author of the upcoming book Take Charge of You: How Self Coaching Can Transform Your Life and Career.
"At least 60% of people are working virtually and that keeps them from having the interaction at work," he says. "It makes it harder to get the coaching and development that you need to get so the big revelation is that you've got to be independent, take charge, and coach yourself into the performance that you want to have at the company."
Coaching yourself takes self-reflection to identify your strengths. Then create an action plan for the future. "You have a conversation with yourself," says Novak. "Get a self-coaching mindset, open yourself up to growth, develop a self-coaching plan, and uncover transformational insights that will help you go down the path that will get you to where you want to go. Making those moves get you to where you can have happiness and joy."
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