The Clash - Oct. 15, 1979 at Seattle's Paramount Theater by Bob Kondrak
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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

From the Great Resignation
to the Great Regret

“Should I stay or should I go?”   That’s the question so many are asking in the Post-pandemic era, where we’re all searching for the “new normal.”

These are the words Joe Strummer recorded on the hit song in the 1970’s and they’re playing it today and we’re all asking same question:

“Darlin’ you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”

And the question isn’t just about romance anymore—it’s about my job and career.

A few short months ago in the Great Resignation, the answer was a rousing, “Yes!”  People were sick and tired of where they were and for family, personal, and career reasons they were flooding out of their jobs in droves.

Now for those same people, in the era of “the Great Regret, the answer is becoming:
“Well, “I’m not so sure.  I gotta think about it.”

For some who already went the answer is,   “Maybe I’ll call my old boss and see if there is a chair waiting for me.”  They’re the “boomerangers.”

So whether you’re staying or going or thinking about seeing if you can go back to where you were, here are some considerations:

  1. You may be on the brink of some amazing new possibilities in the Post-Pandemic Era.   The Pandemic may have be one of the biggest challenges of our lives, but it might have created the greatest opportunities of our lives.   If you are a senior executive, entrepreneur, or a person on the move up, look for the best opportunities now.

  2. Be prepared to compete in the post-Pandemic world—it will be more fierce than ever. 30 years ago when someone took a new job, people jokingly said it would take them a year just to find the bathroom.   Employers gave you time to adjust to the new organization.  Today when your tenure with a company may last 3 years at most and more likely a few months to a year, employers want immediate results. 

  3. Don’t jump ship too fast.  Before you jump to the next opportunity, make sure you are not under-valuing some career-building opportunities in your current organization.  This is a huge time of mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs.  While that can create a frustrating environment, there’s also much to be learned by going through those experiences and they add potentially important pieces to your resume and your mobility.  And they may put some real cash in your pocket!

  4. Understand how employees are now valued.  Roles and skills have back-seat value to three premier qualities.
    1. Employees must understand how the organization works and not be just cogs in the wheel.

    2. Employers want to be able to measure how you’ve moved the business forward.

    3. And most importantly, employers want you to be able to handle disruptive events.  When a disruptive event happens—collapsing market, systems functionality suspended,  sudden competitors—they want you to move forward when nobody really knows what’s going on.  You must manage disruption rather than wait for someone to figure things out and tell you. 

If you choose to stay, stay happy.  If you choose to go, go to something you really like.  The old question of “should I stay or should I go?” is based on the misery of being somewhere you hate. 

When I was young, I moved back to the US from Latin America after working there for many years.  I was determined to make a complete change in my life.  I went to a recruiter who told me, “Jack, you have to understand that you’re going to be doing the same thing going forward for the rest of your life.”   I thought to myself, “Not a chance.  I want to work in something I love and where I can make a difference.”  Love what you do and you’ll be successful whether you stay or go. 

Austin, Texas

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Kallendorf, PhD. | (512) 417-9756 

Jack Speer | (512) 417-9428


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