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The Coaching Corner with Michael Riegel: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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In March 2022, 4.5 million workers quit their jobs and there were over 11 million open jobs. Considering the unemployment rate, it also means that about 4.5 million workers started a new job. A little digging into the data shows that the drivers of the “churn” in the labor market was from professional and business services and construction. Churn is a somewhat visceral term that, for me, brings an image of turbulence and disruptiveness. It is hard to manage effectively or efficiently if a business is battered by all that noise. As a project manager, coach, and small business owner I like predictability and calm. At the same time, I can appreciate the idea that there is opportunity in chaos. If you are thinking about what that churn means for you personally, you may want to ask yourself:

  • What are the opportunities being presented?
  • What are the potential consequences of going after them?
  • What would be the downside to remaining where I am?

Is it real or just an illusion?

No matter how you slice and dice the data, it is still just data. Yes, there are opportunities in the market right now to jump to another organization. Perhaps you are looking for more responsibility, greater appreciation, increased flexibility, or more generous compensation. In some respects, the Great Resignation has resulted in less organizational stability and reduced personal connection. If you are evaluating the opportunities, it is important to ask the right questions, do your research, and get clarity on what you want to achieve. That dream job might actually be a nightmare.

Ok, now what?

If you are making a mental list of the pros and cons of pursuing another opportunity, here are some considerations. What are the challenges of starting over in a new organization? Who will be my allies, supporters, and advocates? What expanded expectations may I encounter? Can I trust that I will be valued and appreciated? Is this opportunity commensurate with my skills, experience, and expertise? Will this new opportunity limit my availability in other important areas (family, community, volunteering)?

Maybe I should stay?

The decision to go in another direction can be daunting. That direction comes with risk, uncertainty, and anxiety. While you may see the churn all around you, the choice to stay is no less valid than those who leave. If you are at the fork in the road, what would you need to stay and feel fulfilled? What is the likelihood that, if requested, you would be accommodated? What are other ways to get your needs met? Are you clear about what brings you to this decision point?

If you feeling stuck and would like to talk about your options and the consequences of each, you can reach me at

Michael Riegel


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