We’ve all seen a shift in ourselves through the global pandemic. It is now more obvious than it has ever been before, that we need to pay close attention to the world that we’ve created for ourselves. We need to hold the things that we love and are passionate about. It is projected that as the world starts to close the Covid-19 chapter, we will see talent migration.
According to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey, 1 in 4 workers is preparing to look for opportunities with a new employer once the pandemic threat has subsided. And more than 40% of people who responded to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, a global survey of over 30,000 people in 31 countries, said they are considering leaving their employer this year.
“Non-negotiables” at work
The pandemic, for a lot of people, has highlighted the ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to being an employee at a company. Working from home, away from the extra-curricular that would take up time in the office (employee interaction, travel, breaks, perks, et al) has made a lot of employees aware of the stagnation that one can often feel at different points in their careers.
With people fearing losing their jobs, pay-cuts and furloughs for the better part of the last 2 years, it is only obvious that employees now seek employer related benefits, or in some cases more satisfying careers. Which brings up an interesting idea that we’ve toyed with in the past (not always successfully) – a healthy work-life balance. While the idea of the utopian work-life balance isn’t new, our newest generation seems to have listed it high up on their priorities, higher than it’s ever been before. Gen-Z is at the face of it, the most ‘equal’ our world has ever been, with a wider understanding than ever before, of the vast spectrum on which the human species can exist.
This new age of employees are looking for work to satisfy more than a few ticks on a checkbox, they’re looking for work to have purpose AND meaning.
The work-life balance debate
In the early days of my career, after moving to India and working for several years in the NGO field, feeling exhausted and disillusioned, I joined a corporate job. I initially felt that I was betraying my values, but I also needed money and some mental rest. This was my first experience in a corporate environment and I was very lucky that I found a place where there was great respect for employees, a team spirit and a dedication to work.
While our work didn’t involve making the world a better place (not in a direct way at least), I met inspiring colleagues who used their free time to do what they were passionate about, whether it be sports or being involved in charities. I discovered that a company that pays you well, that enables you to have a healthy work-life balance and that treats its employees with dignity and respect was a breeding ground for people who go out in the world and find their own meaning there.
Finding a sense of purpose in the corporate world
I discovered that when you are paid enough to meet your needs and desires, when your work doesn’t suck the energy out of you and when you have a good work-life balance, you have energy, time and money that you can use in what you believe is meaningful.
There are, of course, many people happy in a “meaningful” job and many, many unhappy people in corporate jobs. But the opposite is also true. We’re still in the process of changing the rules of management and the ‘industry standard’ but one aspect that we need to continue to shed more light on, especially now as we rise out of our collective (and can I say…traumatic?) experience of pandemic, is mental health.
Asking the right questions
We need to answer questions like “Does my career matter?”, “What good does my work do to anyone else?”, “Am I satisfied with my career?”.
As we reinvent ourselves and make way for this new hybrid, multi-gig, transformed way of working, we need to stop and assess and ask ourselves first, again, what is the life we’re trying to build for ourselves and does it align with the work we’re putting in.
Does deciding whether to leave or stay in your job bring up a lot of emotions?
Are you struggling to make sense of these emotions?
We can work towards it together! You can book a discovery session (free) here.