#58 Year 2021: The Great Resignation or the Great Escape from Work?

great escape from work

Four million people quit their jobs in July 2021, the year of the ‘great resignation.’ Of the 4 million, how many are unhappy with their jobs, their employers and their lives? Why you need to know the difference between the great resignation and the great escape from work.

The Difference

In the context of this article, resigning is a productive, self-serving process wherein you seek self-improvement. It is an action one takes out of self-respect and a desire to evolve. A healthy resignation comes about from a coherent, calm mentality that looks forward to a deliberate future.

Escaping, however, comes from a desperate, urgent or resentful energy. It is driven by an urge to ‘get away,’ a desire to seek something better. The energy behind escaping feels more like a forcing function rather than a thoughtful, intentional plan.

Note that I am not advocating one method over another. Only you can decide what is best for your particular job situation. Without a doubt, I experienced many a great escape from work during my engineering profession. It led me to maneuvering my way through a job scavenger hunt (not fun!).

It is helpful to know which scenario applies to you for the following reason.

The Escape Cycle

More than likely, if you escape in search of something better, as opposed to a healthy resignation, you will set yourself up for another escape.

The reason is because you avoid the difficulties, the road bumps and the difficult people, thus, taking that same lack-of-skillset with you. By avoiding the situation in a great escape from work, you may feel instant relief and comfort. In the process, you close opportunities to grow and prepare yourself for future difficulties.

Running away may seem like the obvious choice, or the only choice. Yet, in doing so, you run away from yourself. Escaping a situation, in general, will not turn into a long-term solution. But hear me loud and clear: some of you may need that short-term solution now! I get it, I’ve been there!

If you choose to make a great escape from work, proceed with caution. Because next time you will be forced to decide: do I escape once more and start the cycle over … or do I do the necessary work on myself?

Again, I emphasize that one scenario is not necessarily better or worse than the other. If you feel the need to escape, recognize that it is a short-term fix. 

Resigning or Escaping?

The table below offers examples of an escape mentality vs a resignation mentality. I hope it helps you understand the underlying reasons for your desire to seek other employment. 

Resign MentalityEscape Mentality
“My potential in this job has been maxed out”“I want a better career”
“My values do not align with my employer’s values”“My employer is terrible or unreasonable”
“I gained crucial knowledge and met fabulous people in this job”“This job is not my passion”
“The things I’ve learned about myself and about life are priceless”“I deserve promotions or more compensation”
“Despite management imperfections, I do my best”“Management is incompetent”
“I’m familiar enough with this world that I know what I’d be leaving behind”“I don’t relate to these people or to this environment”
“My performance here is truly good enough for me”“They don’t appreciate my work”

The great escape from work is a temporary solution. If you run from something once, you will generally continue to run until the cycle is stopped.

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