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I didn't know I was a part of this "Great Resignation" wave. After 15 years of working in various industries, I submitted my letters of resignation because I just couldn't take the BS work anymore. Don't get me wrong — I had it very good in people's eyes. I had a cushy software development job where I only had to work 3-4 hours a day (20 hr/ wk) and still got my SF pay. My company gave us great benefits and the stress was very low at the worst. Despite all these, I walked away because I couldn't take the BS anymore. Same water-cooler conversations, same routines, same corporate speak, same incentive structures, same claps, same code. It seemed like everyone’s enjoying the world of sameness, but not me.
When I saw the news headline "The Great Resignation: Why millions of workers are quitting", I realized I wasn't alone. The Great Pandemic caused tremendous hardship for a lot of people, and, with things returning back to normal post-vaccine, people seemed to have come out of it with new perspectives. People resigned and they walked away from their employers for new opportunities.
This really begs the question, how long have we been "ok" with putting up with what we didn't like? How deeply have we thought about what we truly wanted in life? How many sacrifices have we made in order to satisfy an employment engagement?
The Great Pandemic caused great hardships but it is also in hardships that our true colors shine. I have always looked for work that can bring meaning and purpose, but every time they fall apart. Why? Because I chose opportunities that paid the most over what I was genuinely interested in. Every path that I evaluated I chose the ones with the biggest pile of cash at the end. It was only when I walked down the chosen path did I notice that I was walking in a hamster wheel, and it only spun faster with everyone marching in the same direction.
Now, when the world cannot turn any stranger in 2021, I was forced to make a choice for my life — continue to run in the hamster wheel with some carrots dangling in front of me (promotion, performance review, raises, <insert the incentive of your choice>), or jump off of the wheel. Be bound by the constraints dictated by my employer, or seek my own personal freedom. Continue down a steady path that was set long ago, or dare to steer into the unknown.
I chose the latter. I chose it not only because I was dissatisfied with my working engagement, but because I realize the only that truly mattered is what I make out of my life in this short transient life. I believe many people have chosen the same as well.
Welcome to the Great Resignation.
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