Jim Stern Coaching


I’m thinking you can actually get a feel for unemployment statistics by sampling the traffic flow.  During the height of COVID, with the early lockdowns, traffic was nonexistent. I owned the city back then! But slowly, traffic has clogged its way back to normal and into the nightmarish conditions of today.  That makes sense, given that the unemployment numbers are now at their lowest percentages in years.  However, ironically, employers are having a tough time filling all their open positions. This has led some to define this period as “The Great Resignation!” But is it, really?

The Great Reflection

I have a hunch that something else is going on, and my passenger Michelle confirmed it.  As we were heading to the airport I mentioned that it looked like she was on a quick trip to Philadelphia, where she was headed, because she had no luggage.  She shot back, “Yes, it’s a one day-er and it’s a big one!” Michelle clarified further that this was her big day as she was headed to her company’s headquarters to resign. “Yep, I’m part of the Great Resignation!”

Michelle is a consultant in the accounting world.  She told me she just wasn’t enjoying the job and was looking for a better work/life balance and, more importantly, more meaningful work.  I had to smile as I heard this, because in my life coaching circles this is often referred to as *Finding Your Own North Star.  Just as the actual North star guides you if you are lost geographically… In life coaching, it’s a reference to finding one’s true purpose in life.  I don’t see this as The Great Resignation, but rather The Great Reflection.  People are using their COVID remote time to reflect on the quality of the lives they are living. Personally, I love it and Michelle is not the first person to talk with me about this. 

So Many Options

People are considering many options to enrich their lives these days: I have talked with nurses who have decided to become traveling nurses in order to see different parts of this country, switching locations every 3 months; architects changing their focus from designing for the wealthy to a more modern approach to low-income housing; accountants like Michelle wanting to use their skills in more meaningful ways. Even one of my kids has used this time to work remotely in different parts of the country. And as far as Michelle? She is looking for a change to match her needs.

Michelle told me she was a little nervous about giving her boss a two-week notice, but was also extremely excited about the first of a series of steps to put her plan into action. 

Taking Small Steps

I was curious (as I always seem to be about my clientele) to hear of Michelle’s plans and next steps.  People will often look at their end goal and become overwhelmed at the enormity of it, but by Michelle breaking her goals down into small steps, they became much more obtainable. She mentioned she has not figured it all out yet but planned to move out of her expensive apartment and back with her parents until she found her next career path. She felt her skills could really help a non-profit and her hours would be much more manageable than the 70-hours-a-week she currently worked.

Happiness & Work/Life Balance

People seem to be more interested and aware of their happiness in the work place these days, defining success as more than just making money. When I look at my own life, I too can see how I’ve transitioned into the track of searching for more meaning in my career/profession. If “The Great Resignation” means that more people are now taking steps toward renewed goals that align more with their North Star, I am all for it. As we all know, life can be short.

So… have you found your North Star yet? It might be time for you to join “The Great Reflection!”


*Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

**Names & any identifying information about people mentioned in this post have been changed to protect their confidentiality.

© Driving Insights 2022


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