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Is it the Great Resignation or the Great Introspection?

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

If this LinkedIn poll question was asked once, it’s been asked a bazillion times.

“Is there really a “Great Resignation,” looming?

I’ll answer that question with a question.

Shall we call it the “Great Resignation,” or the “Great Introspection?”

Because it could be a wake-up call instead.


The pandemic altered the work environment, but the all-important question is, what part does individual perspective play here?


No. I don’t endorse sweat shop work environments or jerk bosses. But have you noticed? U.S. corporations have been jumping through hoops to create “perfect” organizational cultures. Pricey consultants bark at leaders, “Be compassionate, have empathy! Lead from behind. Be a mentor. Coach. A parent.” Organizations provide: Chief Happiness Officers, napping pods, PTO, in-house mental health coaches, Beer Friday’s, snack cafes, FMLA.

And on it goes.

Why then, with emotional support and perks galore which ups a salary are employees quitting?

Not happy working from home?

Not happy working in the office?

Reasons aside, is it time to look inward?

Because, the source of happiness isn’t “outside,” it’s an internal state of consciousness. Sure. Beer Friday’s are fun. But if happiness is entirely dependent on what’s outside it can be taken away, although highly unlikely when, "Happiness depends upon ourselves," Aristotle.

Is it possible to create “perfect” conditions, at work and in life?

Imagine being accustomed to the perfect environment from the crib to college to the corporation. Enter a global pandemic. The epiphany? Life isn’t always perfect. But everything serves a purpose. Imperfect conditions can build internal coping mechanisms. Strong coping skills are tools to transform the everyday challenges of life, maybe navigate a pandemic. “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength,” Marcus Aurelius.

In Hermetic Philosophy, the locus of control shifts from the outer reality to your inner world. Advancing consciousness which matches perspective is the practice.

Because the “meaning” you give to anything, influences your life. In a romantic breakup, one person says, “Thank God, I’m free from that suffocating relationship.” Another person feels devastated. “It isn’t life’s events, but how one reacts to them and the attitude that one has about them, that determines whether such events have a positive or negative effect on one’s life, whether they’re experienced as opportunity or as stress.” David Hawkins. M.D., PhD. The introspective A-ha! says Hawkins is, “You’re not at the mercy of the world, but you are affected only by what your mind believes.”

For every person who quits a, “Job from hell,” applicants are stacked up vying for it. That nightmare job is another person’s Godsend. In making the simple obvious, is it the job or perspective?

Here we are. The Great Resignation may happen, maybe not. Meanwhile, consider the Great Introspection. Because next time a job or life seems imperfect, the illuminating question is, what part does your perspective play?

Paula M. Parker (C) 2021

Originally published in the MetroWest Daily News a USA Today network.

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