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The “Great” Resignation

By February 15, 2023January 11th, 2024No Comments

The Great Resignation sounds a lot like a recession. But it’s not. At least I would like to make an argument that it isn’t.

Recessions are cyclical.

I don’t think this is. I don’t believe that there is a definitive start and finish to this. I think it’s a game-changer. I don’t think that any company suggesting that it is innovative or cutting edge and desires to hire the best talent will see a return to normal. The new normal awaits.

To understand where we are going it is critical to understand where we have been. By the time I graduated college the idea of collecting social security or earning a pension was already a joke. Times were changing. The year that I graduated was 2008 and that economic crash and the ensuing layoffs had pulled back the curtain and revealed what many had already known: the wizard of oz and corporate leadership really own cared about covering their ass to maintain the facade that they were mighty and powerful. But in doing so by layoffs they also proved that they would do anything to protect themselves and damn the workers to the breadline when needed.

Trust was a myth.

As the Millenials (sidebar: I hate generalizing people by generations by here it seems to work for effect) entered into the workplace there was a general distrust. Some of us now ten-plus years into our careers watched again as leadership fired and furloughed (whatever the hell that means) people. Not employees: they are people. Some of them have families.

This isn’t a story just about those under 40. It is something that happened throughout the entire workforce of the entire world.

We know what you did.

I watched one CEO in mid-pandemic post on LinkedIn about leadership and caring for his employees. Only months earlier he fired 70 employees and then gave family members within his organization raises, title bumps, and bonuses.

The internet has given rise to easier access to information and especially within a person’s ability to track a company’s pay structure, culture, and leadership. In less than 15 minutes I can find a dozen employees at a company and reach out to get honest feedback on what the company culture really is. Or in 10 minutes I can see photos on tote facebook of your shitty Christmas party at Fricker’s. And then you brag about how well you treat employees? Piss off.