Consider this … someone quitting their job during this pandemic. Someone choosing to leave their job given the expected economic crisis, further business disruptions and, of course, the uncertainty as to when “things will return to normal”.
The answer is yes. Yes, if an unsatisfied employee has the opportunity to secure gainful employment somewhere else, a global pandemic isn’t necessarily going to deter them from trying to achieve this.
Unfortunately, times are promising to be tough for candidates navigating the job market for the foreseeable future, with high unemployment rates increasing the competition and businesses struggling to recruit due to their own finances and social distancing restrictions.
STUCK IN A JOB RUT
For the essential workers who are busy saving lives and working flat-out to keep the country afloat, or the millions of employees who have suffered a job loss, they may not feel that sorry for someone who has kept their job but wants to quit it.
The fact that “there is always someone worse off” doesn’t mean you can’t be unhappy in a job you no longer, or never did, find fulfilling or enjoyable.
NOT BEING DISCUSSED ISN’T THE SAME AS NOT HAPPENING
Media topics regarding the UK workforce right now focus on either the key workers or the unemployed and furloughed. There really isn’t a lot addressing those employed but dissatisfied and desperate for new work.
It’s important for both those in this situation, and employers to acknowledge this underlying situation and consider some incredibly important factors.
1. LENGTH OF SUFFERING
Firstly, someone who wants to find a new job at the moment, seriously needs to address the cause of their unhappiness at work.
Were you unhappy at work before the Coronavirus outbreak, or has your workplace stress increased since lockdown restrictions? It’s important to be 100% sure that your reasons for wanting a new job are not due to temporary issues with your current role.
We’re in the worst global crisis since World War II, tensions are higher. It’s no excuse for abusive or unprofessional behaviour, but are your struggles with the pandemic clouding your judgement?
2. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Emotional people have a distorted perspective and angry people make rash decisions, combine this with a global pandemic and a disgruntled employee could seriously end up straining themselves financially and professionally.
Even if after rationally reviewing the situation, you are positive that you still want to leave your current role, the next question is when can you afford to do this?
This entirely depends on your individual circumstances regarding your finances, family commitments and profession. It’s no secret that currently particular vacancies in certain industries are extremely limited.
Nevertheless, certain industries are actually growing right now, so could your skills be transferred or are you willing to learn? Also, sectors that were initially worst affected by the pandemic, are beginning to express optimism for the future, and many have adapted to remote recruitment and working.
3. MENTAL HEALTH
What has been discussed a lot lately is the struggle the pandemic and lockdown is having on our mental health. Overnight, we woke up in a new world of isolation, fear and grief.
For full-time workers, your job takes up a huge amount of your life, so it has the power to significantly impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. This should always be a priority in any major life decisions you make, lockdown or not.
Ask yourself, do I feel comfortable addressing my upset at work with management? If the answer is honestly no, then you should certainly be looking for other work alternatives.
1. THE FURLOUGHED
Designed to save as many jobs as possible. The practicality of it is much more complex than that, but from a worker’s perspective, yes they’ve kept their job, but they’re income and value may well be lowered.
If you as an employer has been able to furlough a worker, that means you want to keep them at your business. Unfortunately, at organisations where some staff have been furloughed and others haven’t, this is going to inflict a certain level of insecurity and jealousy.
As a company it’s vital to ensure the furloughed of their worth and value to you, as many will have spent their time on furlough upskilling, updating their CVS and job searching.
2. FEAR FOR THE FUTURE
Whether an employee has been furloughed or not, the catastrophe this pandemic has inflicted has left everyone unnerved.
Seeing how drastically different each industry has been affected, this may well encourage workers to question the security of their profession and the stability of the sector they are employed by.
How are you making your workers feel safe?
3. TAKING THE TALENT FOR GRANTED
It was heavily reported in 2019 that there was a large skills shortage, with employers struggling to fulfil certain roles in certain areas. However, with so many candidates looking for work now and in the future, employees may feel they have the “cream of the talent crop”, when normal recruitment activities resume.
A business should never assume this when recruiting. Businesses will be working harder than ever to recover from this and everyone will want the best workforce possible.
There will still be an onus on employers to stand out as a great place to work. Especially candidates currently in employment who want to leave for something better.
Everyone has different experiences and desires when it comes to their working life. Different ambitions, different priorities and different opportunities.
No one should ever feel ashamed for being ambitious and wanting the most out of their career if they are prepared to work hard!