The Great HR Resignation: 3 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your HR Gig

It’s easy to focus on everyone else’s needs and neglect your own when taking care of people is at the core of what you do. Recognize the signs that it’s time to leave and don’t be afraid to look for something better.
The Great HR Resignation- 3 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your HR Gig
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We know we don’t have to say it twice—HR professionals are exhausted. 

For almost two years, you’ve helped your companies navigate a life-altering pandemic. Everything about how we live—and work—has changed. And HR professionals have been at the forefront of supporting employees and leaders with those changes—whether it was providing guidance during the pivot to remote work (and back to the office) or providing emotional support in a time of great uncertainty and loss. 

The physical and emotional toll of that work has caught up to many HR professionals—and so it comes as little surprise that you might be planning to find a new gig yourself. But how can you be sure now’s the time for a change? Will your next company or job just offer more of the same? Is the grass greener where you water it? 

Here are three ways to know it’s time to quit your HR job—and move on to something better aligned with your career goals and life aspirations. 

1. Your Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met

As an HR professional, you’re likely familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how meeting employees’ basic needs (like pay, safety, and belonging) builds the foundation for employee engagement. 

However, without a solid foundation, organizations can’t expect employees—especially HR employees—to feel driven to support companies when they’re already feeling exhausted.

[Companies] can’t leapfrog over basic needs, like pay, safety, and belonging. You need to address them first to get the value out of the top tiers [of Maslow’s hierarchy], like recognition and professional growth.”
Kelley McCart
Kelley McCart
Vice President of Human Resources at J.R. Hobbs Company

It Might Be Time to Quit When…

[Your employer doesn’t] offer severance to employees with an average tenure of 35 years.”
Maggi D.
HR professional
You’re told that you have reached a financial cap in the role you’re in.”
Sandy O.
HR professional
You get a fantastic performance review from your boss with kudos from your boss’ boss… but no raise and no bonus. Later they said it was ‘due to budget’.”
Michael M.
HR professional

If you feel like your basic needs aren’t (or are no longer) being met, it’s a sign your organization isn’t prioritizing engagement—and it might be time to move on to one that values its employees.

2. Your Well-Being Is Suffering

Earlier this year, not one, but two heroes joined the conversation around mental health and the workplace: Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles. 

These top-ranked athletes used their public platforms to speak out on the importance of prioritizing your mental health over work. 

Read more: Going for Gold: How to Prioritize Mental Health in a Competitive Workplace (Like the Olympics)

And while there were many well-being lessons companies could glean from their actions, the underlying message to employees is clear: You need to recognize the difference between pushing through adversity and knowing when to call it quits. 

If you’re feeling burned out at work and wondering which path (push through or call it quits) is right for you, consider if you have: 

  • Asked for help identifying what the priority work is (and isn’t)
  • Requested to shift workload and/or add resources (such as time or a colleague) to help lessen the burden at work
  • Asked for support, to take time off, and/or to be referred to someone trained (e.g., an Employee Assistance Program specialist) for help

If you’ve done some or all of these things, and you’re still not getting the support you need from your employer, it might be time to quit (and find an employer that supports employee health and well-being).

It Might Be Time to Quit When…

...You've given the job reasonable time, have given reasonable feedback on what's making you discontent (pay, job responsibilities, etc.) and you've also given your employer reasonable time to deal with it....but still see no change, you [should] start searching for something else.”
Anonymous
HR professional
You hate going into work everyday, and you find yourself more negative than normal.”
Amy N.
HR professional
You can’t stand your boss and are on the verge of snapping and saying something or doing something unprofessional. Especially if they do unethical things."
Alex F.
HR professional

3. Your Priorities Have Changed

We’ve heard a lot about The Great Reshuffling—AKA, employees leaving their jobs and moving to another company—but what we hear less about is the reshuffling of people’s priorities. 

The pandemic gave employees an opportunity to press pause on their lives and reassess what’s really important. And many people have decided work-related stress, work-induced burnout, and/or a terrible work-life balance isn’t cutting it anymore. 

If your priorities have changed, and your job in HR—whether it’s your current gig, company, or the profession as a whole—no longer serves you, then that’s a sign it’s time to move on. 

It Might Be Time to Quit When…

Your alarm goes off in the morning and you no longer feel motivated or engaged and are asking yourself ‘do I have to go into work today’”
Laura D.
HR professional
You wake up in the morning unmotivated and genuinely hate going in or doing the job you were doing… it no longer serves you or give you a sense of purpose… then it’s time to move on.’”
Marilou M.
Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist

It’s a candidate’s market. There’s never been a better time to ask for what you really want—and hold fast to getting it. 

So, You’ve Decided to Submit Your Resignation. Now What?

We know deciding to leave your current job wasn’t easy, but getting organized for what comes next can help alleviate any unwanted stress. 

Now that you’ve decided to resign, here are a few steps you’ll want to take right away: 

  • Talk to your manager before you tell anyone else. You want the news of your resignation to come from you; be open and clear about why you’re leaving. 
  • Create a transition plan. This will help you tie up the projects you’re working on, and help those who will absorb your workload once you’re gone. 
  • Take a break. Even if you’re not feeling burned out or that your well-being is suffering, taking a break between jobs will help you feel refreshed and ready for what comes next.  
  • Plan for what comes next. Here’s where you put your needs first. What do you want to do next? Do you want to work in a different industry? Do you want to take an extended break? Do you want to leave the world of HR altogether? Give yourself time to think through your priorities and come up with a game plan for what comes next. 
If you look for other opportunities, be sure you know why you are really leaving and what you are really looking for. Sounds simple, but it may not be. If you’re looking for more pay, what are you willing to sacrifice to get it? If you are willing to start over again... be sure the potential outcomes are worth the risks. I say put yourself out there and see what’s available!”
Gina L.
HR professional

Not Ready to Quit, But Ready for Some Help?

We get that, too! 

At Eddy, we help busy HR professionals by taking administrative tasks off your plate, so you can focus on taking care of your employees—and yourself!

Want one less thing on your to-do list? Subscribe to get our weekly newsletter featuring the trends shaping the HR industry right to your inbox.

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