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The Great Resignation: What to Ask For

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there isn’t a shortage of workers. 

There is a shortage of patience for employers, however.

As John Buchanan, a business professor at the University of Sydney says, employers “report skill shortages because they advertise at the wage they want to pay and offer no training, then unsurprisingly they can’t find people.”

Whether we loved or hated working from home over the last two years, one thing’s the same: people know things can change, and they want that to continue. We’ve all had what Anthony Klotz, the Texas A&M psychologist who predicted the Great Resignation, calls “pandemic epiphanies.” 

People want better pay. They want better hours. They want to work where they want to and when. And they want to stop feeling so exhausted. 

Adecco Group, an HR technology company, ran a survey across Australia and found that office workers in Australia are the most burnt out in the world. The world!

In a recent LinkedIn poll I ran, only 28% felt they were paid fairly. It’s no wonder, considering wages in Australia aren’t growing

If you, like so many others, are fed up working too much for too little, there’s never been a better time to look for greener pastures or negotiate better conditions in your current job. The volume of roles coming into my agency each day has never been this high: Australian talent has the power right now!

If you do decide to take the leap and move to a new job, or at least negotiate benefits with your current Manager, remember to bring these issues to the table:

Flexibility

As Microsoft’s Trend 2021 Work Index Report says, “The future of work is here and it’s hybrid”. If your current or prospective employer requires their team to work in the office 100% of the time without a very good reason, that’s a red flag. 

All signs point to the majority of companies offering flex work in 2022. If a company refuses, there are many other options out there. 

Salary packages

The industries that I recruit within are thriving right now: it’s a great time to run a business in advertising, marketing, PR, digital and design. 

This also means that it’s a great time to negotiate your worth. Don’t just accept the first offer from a potential job! If you don’t feel valued at your current rate, back yourself and come to the table with work-based evidence that you are worth what you’re asking for. Companies have the budget: be confident and negotiate!

Training and upskilling

Is a company offering opportunities to grow and learn? Are they setting employees up to advance their skills, putting them in line for promotions?

If a company isn’t going to offer upskilling, this means two things: advancing is going to be harder, and boredom (and the disengagement that comes with it) is more likely. 

To save yourself from potential “boreout,” make sure a company is willing to put in the effort to keep your skills and career evolving. Companies should be willing to invest more than just salaries in their employees.

Culture benefits

Equal parental leave for both parents? Mental health support? Work-life balance? If you want it, ask for it!

The entire world was flipped upside down for the last two years, and if you’ve had a “pandemic epiphany” about what matters to you, bring it to the table. Workers have a chance to change things for the better. With enough employees making demands, employers will need to listen. Whether it’s splitting your time between the office and home or self-care offerings like gym memberships and doona days, make sure an employer is willing to listen when you let them know what matters.

Opportunity to advance 

Even if everything about a role sounds great, make sure there’s potential to keep growing. What are the pathways forward? How regularly does a company offer reviews and promotions?

A lack of mobility is a huge reason to leave (or stay away from) a company. Before you take a position, make sure there’s a clear path to the next one. A Manager should be clear and communicative about how you can advance your career. If they’re not helping you move up, they’re not doing their job.

Right now, there’s huge potential for things to change. Employers need to listen to what talent really wants and they need to act. If a company isn’t willing to adapt and grow, there are others who will. 

If you’re not happy at your current job, or if a potential company isn’t offering what you want, now’s the time to say you’ve had enough.