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The Key To Happiness During “The Big Stay” Is Resilience

by Jun 30, 2023Blog0 comments

First, it was “The Great Resignation,” then it was “Quiet Quitting,” and now it’s “The Big Stay.” While it may seem employees are all over the place these days with what they want, they’re really reacting to a turbulent trauma-filled three years. At this stage, it makes sense that most people are ready for simplicity and knowing what to expect.

What Is The Big Stay?

The Big Stay, like The Great Resignation, is a new term to describe what’s happening in the workforce right now in response to the mass layoffs, inflation, and rising interest rates. According to ADP Research Group, the rate is down by 5% compared to this time last year, which means fewer people are quitting their jobs.

There are a number of benefits to staying at your current job. The biggest one is you know what you’re getting. After the last three years of uncertainty, many workers are ready for something they haven’t had in a while: certainty. You know exactly how your boss will act during the big staff meeting, you know exactly which co-worker will drone on too long during the morning standup and irritate everyone else, and you know your job so well that you do it with confidence and ease. There is comfort in knowing what is to come. 

The downside is nothing changes. Your boss never seems to change no matter what you say to them, your co-workers never seem to listen, and you’ve been doing this job so long you can do it in your sleep. While many people are staying at their current jobs because they’re happy, some people are staying because they don’t feel like they have a choice. Unless you’re miserable at your current company, leaving an established organization in a shaky economy may not be worth the risk. 

You’re not in the most ideal position, but you can make it work. You can find career happiness by staying put without sacrificing your standards by becoming more resilient. 

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to cope and recover from life’s setbacks. Resilient people are able to face challenges, ask for help when needed, and use their skills and strengths to tackle difficult situations. Resilient people tend to see themselves as survivors. They believe they can weather any storm ahead. They’re able to regulate their emotions, have self-compassion, and feel like they have control over their lives.

By becoming more resilient, you’re automatically able to better manage all the things in your life that create anxiety and stress. Being resilient doesn’t prevent you from experiencing negative events; it helps you create a healthy mindset for coping with these events. The connection between happiness and resilience has been researched a great deal in the last 50 years. Research continues to make the connection between higher levels of resilience and higher levels of happiness, and lower levels of depression.

How To Build Resilience

The key to building resilience isn’t trying to prevent bad things from happening to you; it’s focusing on strengthening your ability to manage the challenges that come your way. You can’t predict when these challenges will show up, but you can be ready for them and set yourself up for success by practicing these skills:

1. Start Your Day Right

How are you starting your day? Do you drag yourself out of bed, thinking about how much you hate your job, your boss, and your life? If you do, you’re guaranteed to have an absolutely miserable day. Even if you’re not very happy right now at work, being resilient is recognizing your mindset matters. 

Create a morning mantra. “Today is going to be a wonderful day. I’m going to be focused, productive, calm, content, happy, and patient.” You pick the adjectives. Think about how you want to be at work today. You’re setting an intention of how you want to show up, and when your manager drones on too long and you feel yourself starting to get frustrated, go back to this mantra and remind yourself that today you’re practicing patience.

2. Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts

Mindfulness is real-time, in the moment awareness of what you’re thinking and feeling, and it’s the most effective tool for managing stress and anxiety and creating greater awareness. Our minds are like a war zone. Either we’re battling ourselves, or we’re battling someone else. Over the years, we’ve all learned various bad habits like negative self-talk, preoccupation with the past or future, criticizing and blaming others, and defensiveness. 

Being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment is the way you’re going to be able to identify all of those negative thoughts that are keeping you stuck. Our brains generate anywhere from 30,000-50,000 thoughts a day, most of them unconscious. The only way to stop the war in your mind is to start winning some of those battles. To achieve this, you have to start identifying those thoughts in the moment, which means you have to start practicing mindfulness.

3. What Can You Do

Resilient people believe their actions play a part in what happens in their lives. While the events of the last three years have been very much out of your control, and the reasons behind why you may be staying at your company might be out of your control, you do have control over how you use your time this next year.

If you know you want to leave when jobs start opening up, then this is the perfect time to work on learning new skills. Look around the job market and find jobs that are a stretch for you right now and see what skills, experiences, or knowledge you need to acquire to be considered for that job and start filling those gaps. 

Resilience is also about problem-solving and social support. Resilient people aren’t cowboys trying to do it all by themselves. They reach out and ask for help. If you’re not happy right now at work, who can you talk to to make it better? If you can’t talk to your manager, who else can you talk to? Maybe there is nothing you can do, but you need someone to talk to. Sometimes an unbiased third party, like a therapist or coach outside of your organization, is the best option if you can’t talk to someone at work or if you need help coming up with a strategy for how to talk to your manager.

4. Be Authentically You

Being authentically who you are at work doesn’t mean you have no filter or are required to reveal personal details about yourself. Being authentically who you are is bringing your whole self to work, which means the person you are at home is aligned with the person you are at work. You bring the same honesty, values, vulnerability, and personality you have at home that you do to work. You’re showing the people around you who you are, not just what you do. It’s easier to cope with life’s challenges when you don’t have to pretend to be someone or something you’re not. 

Setting a daily intention is a great way to start becoming more aware if you’re being authentically you at work. At the beginning of each day, set an intention, and then at the end of the day, check in to see how you did for the day. You can then make adjustments or change the intention as needed. Focus on how you can grow each day rather than seeing those adjustments as failures or setbacks.

5. Detach And Rest

Work is important. You should feel like it has a purpose in your life, but it can’t be your whole life. While you care about what you do, it is a job, and just like what we saw with the mass layoffs, companies will let anyone go with no hesitation. This is why it’s important to have strong social connections, hobbies you love, and family and friends in your life. Take every last one of your vacation days. Take all the rest you need. Being resilient means you’ll be able to know when you need time for yourself.

Just like the other trends, it’s hard to say how long “The Big Stay” will last. Nonetheless, learning resilience skills will help you regulate your emotions, reduce your negative thinking, increase your support, and shift your mindset around work.



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