5 Steps to Take After Resigning

More people are quitting their jobs without next steps lined up.  Experts suggest these strategies to recalibrate your career. 

The great resignation is showing no signs of slowing in the new year. In fact, nearly 4 million Americans quit their jobs in January. While many have offers lined up, a surprising number are quitting spontaneously, spurred by a pandemic that has made people less risk averse when it comes to their careers. “So many people are taking this opportunity to reflect on their lives and realizing their job isn’t what they want.” says Brian Bloom, Korn Ferry’s vice president of Global Benefits.

But experts say everyone should have a plan, at least moving forward. Here’s what they suggest:

Go soul searching.

Reflect on your life and career to figure out where you want to be as you move forward. Depending on your financial situation, going on a vacation to unwind may help you come to an epiphany, experts say. “Consider going on a career-related retreat where you can think, dream, and plan your future,” says Val Olson, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance. Ask yourself how you want to shape your future and what that would mean for your personal life and career, says Bloom.

Invest in self care.

Spend time taking care of yourself. Look at the four pillars of well-being: physical, emotional, social, and financial, says Bloom. Check up on your physical and mental health, and work toward any changes you may need to make, he says. Do you need a new fitness plan or to start meditating? Evaluate your finances, figure out when you want to retire, and develop a plan. And for social wellness, connect with your community and find ways to give back. “Within a month or two of doing self care, your mind will be in a better frame to think about the next career move,” says Bloom.

Create goals and plans.

After some well-deserved downtime, it’s time to set new objectives. You need to come up with realistic goals and work on a plan to achieve them, says Bloom. Begin by listing companies you want to work for, says Olson, and consider at least three types of organizations in your industry. For instance, an executive coach might list companies within-house coaching opportunities, coaching companies that provide services to organizations or individuals, and leadership-development businesses, she says. Additionally, depending on your career goals, this is a good time to work on upskilling.

Tap into your connections.

First, inform your network that you’re in a transition period. “Avoid the lure of applying for jobs online,” says Olson. “One out of 200 people are hired for every posting.” Instead, focus on identifying individuals on LinkedIn or in your network who work at companies you’re interested in, and set up informational interviews. Reach out to recruiters as well and build relationships with them. At the same time, try to stay connected with former colleagues as you move forward, she says.

Stay positive. 

The job hunt can get exhausting, so keep an open mind and be focused. Surround yourself with an encouraging support system. “A support network will help you maintain your emotional equilibrium and weather the challenges of job search,” Olson says. Bonus tip: Update your resume, and while doing so appreciate your talents, accomplishments, and skills.