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Interview: Many now regret their decision to quit during the Great Resignation

Dahl Consulting’s (DAHL) Executive Vice President Mick Doherty, joined Jessica Miles, a WCCO Reporter and Podcast host of 830 WCCO, to talk about resignation regret and the work you should put in before deciding it’s time to move on to something new.

Click here if you want to listen to the audio interview. Below is the complete transcript.

Jessica Miles: We have been talking a lot over the last gosh several months, and certainly the last couple of years we’ve seen it. But how many people are leaving their jobs during what’s being called the great resignation? However, for a new Harris poll, this is for USA Today. One in five of those surveyed had feelings of remorse regarding their new job. And only 26% of those who switched jobs say they actually like their new position enough to stay there, while 30% say their new role is a little different than what they anticipated. Right now. Joining us on the John Schuster Coldwell Banker Hotline, we have Mick Doherty of Dahl Consulting. Mick, thanks for joining us.

Mick Doherty: Hi, Jessica. Thanks for having me.

Jessica Miles: Okay, so we want to talk first about why have so many been people switching their jobs over the last two years? Why are people leaving?

Mick Doherty: It’s a great question. This great resignation is definitely very real. I don’t think there’s a full silver bullet for the why completely, but a lot of it really came initially when COVID first started. Obviously, the world has flipped upside down, and employee burnout really started to take over. We had a lot of people that had been in their jobs that left the market or retired. We had this move from in the office to now, the full remote world, that really impacted how business operated in that company culture as well, too. And a lot of that full culture turned into just more of a job. And it started to make people think of what else might be out there. In our more than 40 years of experience, we haven’t seen our economy come out of recession as quickly as we did from the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. A lot of it was centered around new budgets coming in for projects that had been kicked out from the last year. Now, companies were coming out of this and had to hire and bring back in a lot of people. And the market just wasn’t there anymore. So lots of opportunities for job postings and for people to take new jobs.

Jessica Miles: You know, there’s been a lot of postings, too, that offer a mobile or a work from home, things that I have never seen in my time granted, I had been looking and going to newsrooms and those types jobs, you just generally don’t work from home. But a lot of people who are switching jobs, friends who I’ve talked to, and there’s just so much more opportunity now for flexibility.

Mick Doherty: Yeah. That’s something where we’re really trying to educate our clients on consistently. That need for flexibility is very real. Obviously, the salary is the or one of the most important reasons for people taking the job. But that flexibility now is really coming as that second; whether it’s a fully remote opportunity or that hybrid model that we’re seeing most companies start to adapt.

Jessica Miles: How about this then, when we have so many people leaving, that great resignation, why are we now hearing about so many people kind of regretting leaving that position? Has it been more like impulse leaving during the great resignation?

Mick Doherty: Yeah, that’s a great question as well. What appears to have happened is the opportunities came at people very quickly. We have a lot of candidates that got into the market for the first time looking for a new job in a long time. And we’re seeing is that maybe there wasn’t a lot of vetting being done. A lot of people have their reasons why they want to leave their current company. And when looking at the new companies, these dollar signs were very real. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that we had the largest increase in year-over-year compensation in decades. And so for a lot of people, well, this new job is going to pay me more money. So, therefore, I’ll take it and maybe look at all the other intangibles of the opportunity in the remote environment, the culture, the opportunities for growth, the team that you’ll be working with, and on the hiring site as well, to see a lot of hiring managers who are feeling the tight market and maybe bringing in people faster on quicker turnaround times, one interview and hiring someone and not doing that due diligence to make sure that this person is truly the perfect fit as opposed to a potentially good fit.

Jessica Miles:  I can see how that would be, exactly how you would have hiring managers just trying to find people, and you find someone who you think might be good, and you’re trying to bring them in quickly. And the same with the other side, where if you have someone who’s kind of enticing you away with a nice salary or some other amenities that you might not have, maybe not taking the time to really think about that transition and making that move could kind of come back to haunt you. The grass may not always be greener.

Mick Doherty: That’s exactly the state that we share with a lot of our candidates. And for such a big decision in people’s lives of changing their job, so many people don’t do it very often. And so there’s a lot of practice behind it. There aren’t a ton of guides for making sure you are following all these processes and asking all these questions during the interview process. For so long, it was candidates and interviewees trying to sell themselves on why they’re the perfect fit. And that market kind of shifted a bit where it’s making sure that it’s an equally perfect match for both people, for the candidates as well as for the client. And so it’s something we’ve really been trying to educate all of our candidates on for their interview processes, making sure they’re asking a lot of questions around the intangible opportunity.

Jessica Miles: So what should we be considering before we go out there and make that change in maybe an entirely different career? It’s taking the time, as you just mentioned here, and making sure it’s a good fit for both sides. Really. What are some other suggestions you have?

Mick Doherty: Yeah. And I should share, too. We do have a lot of blogs on this topic on our website at DahlConsulting.com. It’s D-A-H-L Consulting.com. But a lot of questions also are, again, around what is it that you’re looking for in terms of your career? Is it that work-life balance? Is it the opportunity to move up within the organization? Is it a strong team that’s surrounding you? These are questions that oftentimes are not being asked in the interview. And really making sure to the manager that you’re signing up to join, is that person going to manage you the way that’s effectively going to make you better at your career? Oftentimes the reason people join an organization or leave an organization is based on their hiring manager and making sure that that person is going to manage you may be more effective than the current manager that you’re working with.

Jessica Miles: And in a team environment, if you’re going to be going in and kind of working with a specific group of people, is it fair to say, I’d like to meet my team members and kind of get to know some of them to the people that I’m going to be working more closely with? Is that a good ask a good question?

Mick Doherty: Absolutely. And it’s something that we do recommend. It’s something that we actually also recommend to our clients to put as part of their interview process because there’s a lot of a different perspective that your coworker or future coworker can give you that maybe your manager can’t. And so, we ask them to do that because it’s a great opportunity for those coworkers to share why they are still at the organization, why they’re staying during this great resignation.

Jessica Miles: How about for people that have kind of taken that leap already, they’ve quit that existing job, and now they’re feeling regret, they’re feeling a little remorse, and they’re kind of in this position of what can I do? What should I do? How do you help?

Mick Doherty: I know there’s always the internal concern of not wanting to move multiple jobs within a year or two and be viewed as a job hopper, but it feels and what we’ve seen is with the chaotic change in the environment we’ve see in the last two years, that, as you said, there’s a lot of people who are regretting their decisions and they should not be staying at that current position. Just because they’ve made that decision, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay. But what we are recommending is just making sure you’re doing that due diligence the next time around, make sure that you’re looking at multiple opportunities, and that you’re interviewing multiple people within those organizations that you’re looking at as well, too.

Jessica Miles: If you’ve left a position and are like, I think I kind of messed up, and I might want to go back, do you encourage people to just say, you know what, I think I made a hasty decision here, and I’d like to come back or once you leave, as do employers kind of look at that as we’ve moved on.

Mick Doherty: Unfortunately, I don’t have the perfect answer to that. I think each scenario is going to be dependent on how you left, on what terms you left, and on how they may be backfilled your position or not. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to reach back out and see if there is an opportunity to go back to the organization. Just know that it certainly can impact how you’re viewed within that organization as well, too.

Jessica Miles: You never know unless you ask, I suppose, right?

Mick Doherty: Yeah. It’s the same as what we see with people that will accept counteroffers from their current employer. The studies also show that more than half of them will be gone within a year, and most of the time, it’s because the underlying issues aren’t just around salary. There are a lot more reasons for why you might leave that company. And so I think I would maybe reevaluate the whys behind you left in the first place to was it purely just because of money, or were there other underlying issues that would still be there? Should you go back?

Jessica Miles: Right. Good advice. Mick, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. We’ve heard so much talk about the great resignation, and now we’re hearing a little bit about maybe some of the resignation regrets here, too. So you have to weigh all factors, all sides that’s. Thanks so much, Mick.

Mick Doherty: All right. Thank you for having me.

Jessica Miles: Have a great day.