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Making that next career move - are you ready to make the leap?

There is an ongoing trend in the labour market of people resigning with no guaranteed job to move on to. This has been the year of the so-called ‘great resignation’. Are you considering joining this trend?

There are many drivers of this resignation trend with common factors shared as part of employee offboarding being:

  • lack of purpose and meaning in the current role
  • lack of employee benefits
  • toxic work culture
  • lack of prospects/opportunities for career progression
  • high workloads/constant stress, exacerbated by the challenges of working from home and in the midst of the pandemic

And I am sure there are plenty of people pondering leaving simply because they hate their boss. Well, some things never change. If you’re considering taking the leap and making a fresh start, here are some ideas to help shape your thinking and move into action.

Finding purpose and meaning

Research has shown that when employees feel connected to a cause, or where there is a clear purpose and mission to the company, they are not only more engaged and more productive, but they are also more resilient to stress.

Simon Sinek’s concept of ‘Start with Why’ (first shared in a famous Ted talk) is never more relevant in a world where the impact on the planet, social inequality, dehumanisation of work and the vacuity of consumerism are all high on the agenda. We are far more willing to put in the extra hours and to fully engage with our colleagues if we feel connected to a bigger purpose.

Tip: When researching potential employers, look at their website. Read their ESG/CSR policies, research their company values and mission statement and reflect on the story they are telling about the culture they promote and value.

What’s most important to you right now?

“There’s got to be more to life than this. “ - Anon

The last 18 months have led many people to re-evaluate what is truly important to them and, for some, that means putting a greater emphasis on family and relationships, finding their vocation or a deeper calling or pursuing hobbies and interests. This may involve a trade-off, for example sacrificing salary in exchange for more quality time with your family.

As a coach, I support clients to get really clear on what they want, to create a vision for life as they would love it to be. Time and again the common themes are of balance between healthy high performance in a fulfilling role with quality time with family and friends with lots of interests, an active lifestyle and plenty of time in nature.

Tip: Take some time to journal on what is most important to you, asking yourself what you might regret in 5, 10 or 25 years time if nothing changed. Use the wheel of life coaching tool to assess where you are in the different domains of your life and where you want to be. Find five words that sum up your expressed values (e.g. honesty, authenticity, adventure, etc.) and reflect on the degree to which you live in alignment with these values.

The grass is not always greener

Some people I work with come looking for support with making a career progression or transition. They go into detail, telling me exactly why they hate their job, whether it is their difficult and demanding boss, a toxic culture, excessive stress or lack of stimulation.

I am always curious about what it is about the job they do enjoy, or perhaps those elements that they used to enjoy; what it is they value about their colleagues and working environment; how engaged are they in decision making; how empowered they feel, and their role in supporting and mentoring colleagues.

Sometimes we need to look inside ourselves and check whether we are blaming our circumstances for our feelings when actually there is something within ourselves that is out of balance in some way. We can easily convince ourselves of a story (what the thinker thinks, the prover proves) and live that out as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, our thoughts create our reality, so what if you changed your thinking about your current role - what would be possible then?

Tip: I invite you to play a game where you are thriving in your current role and to notice what is different in how you are behaving, the way you are being, the leadership you are showing, the courage you are showing (e.g. in having difficult conversations, making bold requests).

For some, the hating of the job can act as a motivator for initiating action but, for others, holding that negative emotion can be paralysing, and the list of excuses for not taking action is long. Well, what would an ounce more courage do for you?

Ask for help

You truly do not have to go it alone. Set aside your pride, seek out help. People love being asked for advice. Find a mentor, even in your current employer if you feel safe to do so. Talk to a friend or contact who has made a recent transition, reach out to people in your target sector or industry, expand your LinkedIn network, ask for a 20-minute coffee and chat online in the name of research. In short, get yourself out there, become more visible.

Explore what brings out the best in you

There’s a whole other piece on identifying what it is that makes you tick; what makes you come alive, what are the conditions in which you thrive, what kind of challenges bring out the best in you. As a start, simply journal on this question:

I am most happy, productive and fulfilled at work when…

Finally, remember that wherever you are at, it is never too late to change direction, to set a new course. Happy exploring. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Thank you for reading. Imagine clearing the mental clutter from your mind and living life from a place of clarity and purpose. What would that do for you?


I am offering a career booster coaching package of six sessions (via Zoom or at my practice in Chorlton, Manchester M21) to help you get clear on your goals, remove your psychological blocks and create a compelling and focused plan of action. Contact me to book your 30-minute discovery call today to explore if this will be a good fit for you.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Manchester, Greater Manchester, M21

Written by Laurence Knott

Manchester, Greater Manchester, M21

I love helping people take the next step in their life, creating a safe and supportive space for you to challenge your own thinking, get crystal clear of what it is you want, whilst tackling the internal and external obstacles to your success.

Coaching can be practical, insightful and transformational

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