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What Finance Professionals Need to Know About the Great Resignation

September 24, 2021

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” Most are familiar with the famous opening sentence in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

While Dickens’ opening sentence describes the conditions between England and France; it could easily describe what is currently happening in the job market today, with what has been termed the “Great Resignation.”

What is the Great Resignation

According to Forbes, the Great Resignation is a result of the pandemic, which has caused many people to reevaluate their priorities and values. As a result, many have uncovered new passions, relocated to new cities and states, and have even completely transitioned career paths.1

How Many People Have Left their Jobs During the Great Resignation

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that a record-high 4 million people voluntarily left their jobs in April 2021, followed by 3.9 million people who quit their jobs in June.2 The Achievers Workforce Institute report says that over half of employees in North America said they planned to look for a new job this year, and one in four named work-life balance as the reason they would job hunt.3

Given these stark numbers, is there an upside to the Great Resignation? More specifically, what, if anything, does it mean for financial professionals? Is the glass half-full or half-empty? A year from now, will financial professionals look back on 2021 and agree with Dickens, that it was the best of times?

What are the implications of the Great Resignation for financial professionals?

If the pandemic has done anything, it has changed people’s mindset, especially when it comes to work. The pandemic has given people good reason and permission to change career direction. Many are making decisions on whether to return to the office and their commute time. Whether good or bad, the Great Resignation will prove to be a game-changer. For some industries, such as hospitality, the glass is half-empty; as it has been hit especially hard with a record number of workers leaving, which has led to a labor shortage. But for the financial industry, it could serve as an opportunity for innovation, growth, and change.

Why are people looking to leave their current jobs?

People are craving change and financial professionals are primed to benefit from it. Two key factors for people changing careers are more flexibility and the ability to work from home; the financial field can meet these two criteria and more with convenience and specialization. One benefit for the financial professional is the ability to work virtually. They also can grow their business through access to a larger number of clients. For more information on the benefits of becoming a virtual financial professional, refer to my July 1, 2021 blog titled How to become a virtual financial professional.

Ask your clients about their career plans to help them assess their options

Now is also an ideal time for financial professionals to check in with their current clients to assess where they are in their careers and if they are looking to make a change. For example, if a client is looking to make a career change, is he or she positioned financially to do so? What is the real reason for the client wanting to resign from their current job? And, from a financial perspective, how can you help them do so successfully? These are just a few questions to ask your clients.

The Great Resignation Could be a Time to Recruit New Talent

The Great Resignation may also prove to be a recruiting opportunity for financial professionals. Are there educators who are looking for a different job? Or, millennials who gravitate towards technology and working from home? Or, recent retirees who are looking to start a second career? Does your practice currently have a recruitment strategy in place? If not, now may be an ideal time to prepare one. Having one may help establish 2021 as a year consisting of the best of times rather than the worst.

How will you take advantage of the Great Resignation?