The impact that the pandemic has had on our professional lives is unprecedented. Many have lost their jobs and are seeking new career opportunities and others are coping with jobs they would, in other circumstances, have left.
Fulfillment, or at the very least satisfaction, in your professional life is something we all aspire to. Unfortunately, leaving a job without knowing where the next paycheck will come from is a luxury very few people can afford - particularly in these uncertain times.
So before handing in your letter of resignation, consider the following tips:
Discuss with your superior
No, I do not mean telling your supervisor your want to leave or giving ultimatums.
What I am suggesting is a discussion to revisit your mandate: clarify your task prioritization, the metrics used to evaluate your performance and the advancement opportunities within the organization. In other words, taking a clear snapshot of the current situation.
Take advantage of an upcoming Performance Review or book a one-on-one with your superior to have this discussion.
For a structured and transparent conversation, consider taking a moment prior to conversation to explain what you would like to go over and the expected outcome in order to establish and appropriate duration.
Come prepared with questions, an open mind, and an attentive ear!
Find ways to add your personal touch
Your company's vision might be evolving and new plans might be on the horizon.
Staying informed about the upcoming changes might help you come up with innovative projects to help fulfill the company's mission.
- Assess your competencies and establish how you can play a role in the upcoming changes while maintaining your current position.
- Evaluate the possibility of redefining your role, adding on new aspects and even reassigning some tasks.
When offering to take on new tasks, reassure your superior that the quality of your job will not decrease, and draw a direct link between your project and achieving the company's key performance metrics or goals.
Consider a mentor
A mentor will provide you guidance and resources with regards to your career.
Your mentor will help you navigate through your career by setting goals and exploring different paths. This person should be able to provide the type of support and and tools you require and you should feel at ease when discussing with them.
A mentor can be anyone from a personal acquaintance whose career choices you admire to a professional role model. You may even already have a mentor-like relationship with someone who you turn to for advice.
When seeking a mentor, one will immediately look within their organization but do not forget to consider your entire professional network (including previous coworkers or former professors) as well as local mentorship programs.
By creating a somewhat formal agreement, mentor and mentee determine important points like the frequency of communications and the expectations on both parties.
Be sure to elect a mentor with whom you are comfortable enough to discuss successes as well as disappointments. Likewise, you must be open to receiving their honest and unfiltered feedback.
Continue to diversify your skills
If you are looking to increase or diversity your responsibilities, expand your knowledge and skills.
You, of course, can turn to the colleges and universities who now provide online degrees for a better work-life balance, but remember to take advantage of the many free or affordable options available to you.
Coursera offers many free courses on a variety of subjects from Arts to Computer Science.
You can learn from more than 160 member universities, among which La Sorbonne, Harvard (one of the founding partners) McGill and University of Toronto with edX. The organization is a non-profit meaning many courses are free.
With a small monthly fee and a free one-month trial, you can access all of LinkedIn Learning's trainings and tutorials. The material is continuously updated with the latest business needs and requirements.
Possibly the most enticing aspect of these options is that you can learn at your own pace.
Ultimately, taking the necessary steps to ensure that you make an informed and thought-out decision will not completely remove the anxiety of not knowing what your next career move will be, but it might prevent you from facing another anxiety inducing sentiment: regret.
N.B.: If you are experiencing a delicate situation that makes you uncomfortable, contact your manager or your human resources.