Nice Resignation may be a chance to transition to a brand new profession
MoMo productions | Getty Images
When the Covid-19 pandemic first broke out last year, Janel Abrahami quit a job she had been in for less than a year – with nothing else planned.
For many, such a move may sound like a risky one.
The decision left Abrahami, who lives in the New York metropolitan area, looking for another full-time job in “the direst job market in a century,” she said. Still, she didn’t regret it.
“There wasn’t a single day during this time that I woke up thinking, ‘Geez, I wish I would open my laptop now to log into this job,'” said Abrahami.
Abrahami used the break to transition to a new career as an independent career coach. Many of her clients are just like her and “wanted more life in their lives,” she said.
More from Advisor Insight:
Here’s a look at other stories that are affecting the financial advisor business.
After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers fortunate enough to keep their jobs were tasked with working remotely while addressing complex challenges such as childcare, home schooling and health risks.
The stress made many workers wonder if there was a better way.
This has triggered the so-called great resignation, in which many American workers throw their full-time jobs in the water, often without their next step immediately pending.
The layoff rate shows that 4.3 million workers left their jobs in August, according to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record high from December 2000.
The job market has since picked up again with 531,000 new jobs in October. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, a pandemic low.
The employees now have the upper hand.
“It will be some time before it becomes an employer market again,” says certified financial planner Ted Jenkin, CEO and founder of Oxygen Financial in Atlanta. “It will happen, but it will take time.”
Even after the market eventually changes, many believe that new workplace standards will persist. Career breaks between jobs that were once associated with a stigma could remain the rule, experts say.
If done right, this time between jobs can help professionals realign their focus and find new careers, they say.
Take stock of your finances
Before taking such a leap, financial advisors emphasize the importance of being financially organized.
“You need to know how long your cash reserve will last,” said Jenkin.
The money you have set aside may have to go further than you think depending on your next move. For example, if you plan to quit your job to start a business, you will likely need at least a year of cash reserves, Jenkin said.
“It always takes companies twice as long to get cash flow as people think,” he said.
The important thing is that there are a few steps you should take before you quit your job.
Often times, people don’t take stock and jump to what they think makes them happy.
Founder of Lifelayout
Make sure to check out all of your pending doctor and dentist appointments first and figure out what it will cost you to keep your health insurance going, Jenkin said.
If you’ve taken out a loan on your 401 (k), know that you may have to pay that balance within 90 days of leaving your employer, he said.
Also, find out whether your company pays you unused free time or not.
Roger Ma, CFP, founder of Lifelaidout and author of the book “Work Your Money, Not Your Life: How to Balance Your Care and Personal Finances to Get What You Want,” said he would advise clients to make the transition as low risk as possible possible.
Tevarak Phanduang / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images
Start by looking at whether you can take a leave of absence from your current job, even if it is unpaid, or reduce your working hours.
“That way, the impact on your finances won’t be as bad,” Ma said.
Take stock of your current work situation to determine what isn’t working, be it job function, industry, or salary.
Then, investigate whether your next step really helps resolve these issues by having informational meetings with people who are already in that career.
“Often times, people don’t take stock and jump to what they think makes them happy,” Ma said.
‘Do this right the first time’
There are no short cuts when it comes to finding the best way forward when you are dissatisfied with your current job, said Abrahami, emphasizing what she emphasizes with her career coaching clients.
It takes deep thought and thought, she added. Without this, someone could find themselves in the same situation in six to twelve months.
“If you get it right the first time and are really honest with yourself, the rest of the process will be so much smoother, easier, and more enjoyable,” said Abrahami. “If you skip this step, the process will be muddy.”
In between jobs, doing something every day that helps you move forward is important, she said. And as you evaluate this next step, do a tummy check to make sure it feels right to you.
The key to this is the opportunity for growth and growth that feels right to you. “If you’re excited to step into the role, that’s a really good sign,” said Abrahami.
In this job market, many employers are more receptive to lateral entrants, said Ariane Hunter, career coach at the General Assembly, an educational technology school that offers programming bootcamps, among other things.
Some of the industries the school’s students are now finding jobs in include technology, finance, education, healthcare, and e-commerce.
How long that takes depends on the industry and other factors, she said. But preparing for a new opportunity generally takes less time than it did a year or two ago.
“We see in six months or sometimes less that someone can make a career change,” said Hunter.