Today, I Become Part Of The Great Resignation. And I Feel Fine.

When I left broadcast meteorology on the last day of November in 2017, I was more than ready to go. I had been passed up for three promotions, yet I had the qualifications for all of them. I had an MBA secretly in my back pocket, and I took at job in the business world a few days after presenting a weather forecast in front of a chromakey.

Today, I leave that job.

When I joined, my focus was business intelligence – or a fancy way of saying “making business dashboards.” Over time, my position leaned into the decision scientist, data liaison, quality assurance, testing, database design, ETL, and algorithm development space as new data sources were created throughout the organization. I created a significant amount of value, and for only the second time in the last 1.5 years, I went into the office today. Since the pandemic began, this was my office 99.5% of the time:

After Christmas, I’ll start a new job. I’ll be going downtown often. I’ll be paying for parking. I’ll be in a room with people. I won’t be a SME for a while. It will be different, but here’s why I’m ready for it and how I know it was time and is time for a change:

  1. Give yourself three strikes. There will be days of success, and there will be days with failures. When I started my job, I had a great boss, and we were aligned. But it was a matter of time before that boss was pushed out, the new one was looking to make a mark, and the personal and political attacks came. Strike one. I was fortunate to move to a new team that worked with my existing one. I got to do more of the things I was good at, but a personal passion of mine was to work in sustainability. For years, I talked to those in the organization about recycling, reducing overhead, and other environmental sustainability efforts; I won an award within the company for pitching some of these ideas. Finally, my company developed a sustainability arm, there was an environmental sustainability leader opening, and I applied. I interviewed as the only internal candidate, and I pitched my highly profitable ideas. Despite this, I didn’t get the job. I was very qualified, but no offer came. Strike two. A few months ago, I got assigned to 100% hands-on-keyboard development work. I get that the work needed to be done, and I saw – at a high-level – the importance of the project. But I’m not a developer; I’m a business guy who knows some things about data. Strike three. The search was on, and a great opportunity came. Each of the three strikes gave me pause and an opportunity to reflect. I don’t like seeing strikes, and – frankly – I hope I know I never see them. I, however, allowed myself a count and time for reflection along the way. Was this really want I wanted to do? Was this the environment that I wanted around me? Was this the cultural fit I needed to succeed? You know when it’s time to get off the field; one of those ways is getting three strikes.
  2. Little things can matter. Is there flexibility in your job? Do you feel safe? Are you appreciated? Seemingly small things can have a significant impact on your happiness. In my “Strike Three” above, I was having a daily meeting with that team every day at noon (preventing me from going to lunch with other people and coworkers). This seemingly small daily meeting was a bottleneck. But there can also be sneakier bottlenecks or ones that wear you down over time. The phrase “merger and acquisition” is a bit of a misnomer; one often happens ahead of or without the other. When a company acquires another company, the merger piece takes time. When you work in a technology space, that often means you have legacy systems and new systems…and different credentials for each. These credentials expire over time. And there’s a possibility you can get locked out with the only way to get back in through a service desk and an IT ticket. Your productivity and success is a function of the tools you use, especially in a virtual, work-from-home world. Fatigue is real, and small tokens of respect – the “you get a lunch hour,” “thank you for your hard work,” and “I’m your boss, and I support you” matter. Along the way, assess your happiness as you work hard.
  3. Personal and political attacks are a red flag. If you aren’t valued or respected, take it seriously. You should not be making repeated mistakes, but know that you can’t take on the blame for larger scale, organizational-level mistakes or missteps. Mistakes will happen; take ownership of them, but don’t take on unnecessary blame…especially repeatedly. If the blame is fair, accept it; if it’s not, it’s a signal of a bigger and more personal problem. Those that are volatile and excessively blame others are unlikely to do you favors, and those close to them are likely not worth your time either (and are probably feeding the monsters).
  4. In time, you should be growing and – if you want to – advancing. I’ve learned a lot over the last 4 years, but I’m still in the same position. I want to advance in time, and I’ve found one of the best ways to do this is not vertically. When people talk about the “great resignation,” I think they are saying a few things: 1) there’s a lot of quantity but not as much quality of jobs out there, 2) the job and talent market is increasingly competitive, and you should strongly consider asking yourself if the benefits you have now are as good as you could get elsewhere, 3) people are realizing how stagnant they are, 4) people are realizing that they have at least some power in a world of large corporate influence, 5) one of the most powerful weapons employees have is to resign.
  5. Happiness, joy, and success are still king. It’s pretty simple: are you happy? Are you successful? Are you joyful? Is what you today checking those boxes? If not, how are you going to get those checked? Can it be done in your current environment? How do you get there? Whether you think life is short or life is long, disappointment, frustration, anger, and sadness is no place to wallow; now is the right time to be happy, successful, and joyful…or at least work towards getting there. Go forth and find them!
This entry was posted in Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Today, I Become Part Of The Great Resignation. And I Feel Fine.

  1. Lou Galluppi says:

    As usual, your brilliance shines brightly Scott! I enjoy what you have to say whenever you share. Congratulations, young man! Reach for the stars! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year for a new beginning!

  2. Judy Riesenberg says:

    Best wishes!!

  3. Chris Rankin says:

    I enjoy what you have to say whenever you share. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

  4. Pamela Zepf says:

    How insightful and what wise words for others. I have lots to say about all of this but all I will say is Good Luck and I wish you the best. Change is so good and profitable if you can bring yourself to do it. I love your weather reports and your blogs…Ill keep reading as long as I’m able!

  5. Matthew W says:

    Congratulations !!!
    The good news is that you get to make this choice.
    Hope it works out for you

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