Are you feeling stuck and thinking of resigning? You are not alone. Women are assessing their careers and lives holistically in an increasing rate.
The pandemic has given people time to re-evaluate their lives and careers. One in three women are considering downshifting their career or leaving the workforce entirely. During the pandemic women have exited the workforce twice the rate that men have. According to research 54% of employees feel overworked and 39% feel exhausted, and 56% of working moms said they were struggling.
Why are so many women thinking of resigning
Most organisations are built on a masculine value system. To succeed you are expected to apply masculine traits such as putting yourself forward aggressively and constantly compete for your spot in the limelight in order to be noticed, rewarded or promoted. For many women this feels alien and they rather stay in the sidelines.
There’s a lot of research that supports this. For women who had more than two years on the job confidence plummeted nearly 50%. Women fear what their employer will think of the choices they make. “Imagine you live with a constant fear of being judged – the natural reaction is to keep a low profile and to not try to make yourself too noticeable.” Many women turn to invisibility to avoid backlash from bosses and colleagues. But when you stay in the shadows it is difficult to feel empowerment, fulfilled and appreciated.
The pandemic has brought these pain points into spotlight and many women feel they don’t belong. Or they simply don’t know how to express their ambition in their environment. Many women end up thinking of resigning or starting their own business but that’s not always the best option. If you are feeling exhausted you may be tempted to quit.
There are many steps you can take that will make you feel empowered and fulfilled, without leaving your current employer. DrivenWoman has helped over 10,000 women to re-evaluate their lives and career choices. We have witnessed thousands of personal transformations.
Six tips to consider if you are thinking of resigning
Re-evaluate, don’t resign
When you are feeling stuck it’s tempting to change that by quitting. If you haven’t assessed what you really want and why you are feeling frustrated the same problems will follow you into your new job or relationship.
Before you take any action it’s best to sit down and spend two hours on writing down what you love doing, what are the talents you are most proud of (many women have never really appreciated what they can do!) and what are the values you want to live by. You can use our LifeWorking™ tools such as My Life Pyramid and My Life Matrix to do this. It will give you clarity on your priorities and a new way to look at your career.
How can your current employer support you in finding a role that fits what you want to do?
Ask for what you want
Too often we make assumptions inside our heads without airing our views or concerns with others. If you think about it, it’s not a surprise why women jump into conclusions rather than ask for what they want. We have internalised that our needs don’t matter and that someone else’s agenda is more important. Therefore if women feel unhappy at work, many simply resign rather than ask for what they want.
However, the assumptions you are holding in your head may or may not be based on facts. Often we let our unconsciousness create a story that sounds true, but is not. No matter how scary it may feel, it’s always best to talk with someone about your situation. Raise your concerns. Ask for what you want. Give your employer a chance to make it right for you before looking for options elsewhere.
Say no before you say yes
We sometimes try to find easy solutions to complex situations. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your life the reasons may not always be found at work. Many women try to stretch themselves too thin, being there for everyone else except for themselves. It has been a typical survival mechanism for women to please everyone else but themselves. We run everything at home, we help at our kids’ school, we support our elderly parents, we take care of the holiday arrangements, we volunteer to organise the street party and so on.
Rather than ditching your career, it may be time to start saying no when you are usually saying yes in your private life. It is important to learn to preserve your energy and make sure you are doing things that build you up rather than wear you down. We can’t show up as our best selves at work if we let people drain our energy at home.
Change your lifestyle, not your job
It’s ok to want a bigger life. Absolutely, at DrivenWoman we are all about getting ambitious. But to get there is not always about your role at work.
Maria, a long time DrivenWoman member, said she was planning to leave her job at a healthcare company because she “wanted more”. But after assessing what really lit her up and also evaluating other financial options she realised that there was nothing wrong with her career. She simply wanted a more glamorous lifestyle. Soon she came up with an investment plan that would help her realise her dreams on the long term and stay at the job that she actually cared about.
Could you start a side project that would bring you financial rewards beyond your day job?
Put yourself forward for opportunities
Perhaps you have been with the same company for a long time and things are getting a little too comfortable. One way to solve it is to look for another job but there are many other options that will spice up your career straight away, and help you reap the benefits of staying with your employer.
Nella was stable in her job as a Group Marketing Manager. “I didn’t know how to be ambitious.” She said. After joining DrivenWoman’s LifeWorking™ group she saw the goals and aspirations of other women and started to actively look for opportunities rather than waiting for them to come her way. She asked her boss for a chance to do public speaking and her schedule is now filled with opportunities, including speaking to a global audience of 160. “It’s totally out of my comfort zone but I feel so excited to be pushing myself forward!”
Do something meaningful
When you are aware of your values it is easier to start making choices that support them. Perhaps sustainability is close to your heart? Or you believe in diversity and inclusion of all genders, races and backgrounds?
Sarah joined a women’s network at her company and feels she’s now making a difference. Manisha put herself forward to take a seat at an industry-wide panel to discuss how more women could be promoted into director roles. Alisha founded an initiative that aims to promote awareness of circular economy and eventually change the company strategy.
What could you start or join at your company?
There are many ways you can enhance your career and personal growth that doesn’t involve leaving. It all starts by learning more about who you are and what you want, not just out of your career but out of life, and then putting those ideas into action. Companies can retain their female talent by providing access to DrivenWoman LifeWorking™ groups.