career

'In 2021, I joined the Great Resignation. Here are 9 lessons I've learnt since.'

If you're looking at the 'Great Resignation' headlines and thinking it's all a load of rubbish – think again. I'm living proof it's happening. 

Last year I quit. Well, technically, my contract came to an end. Still, I decided to call it quits on my career after more than 20 years of coaching and consulting.

I'm not alone. More people than ever are leaving their jobs. One in five Aussies changed employment last year and a quarter are currently considering leaving their workplace, research from National Australia Bank has found.

Watch: The Great Resignation: The post-pandemic trend hitting Australia. Post continues after video.


Video via news.com.au.

Employees around the world are citing burnout, the demands of family and children, and the desire to start something new or to accomplish something they’ve always dreamed of doing as the key factors in their resignation.

For me, it was a combination of the former and the latter.

As the pandemic roared into its second year, I was putting in excessive hours in my job, all while struggling with an autoimmune disease. The stress, Zoom fatigue, sleepless nights, and utter exhaustion was constant. Something had to give.

And after half a lifetime of playing by the rules, a small, and stubborn, thought occurred to me: "If I can’t follow my joy at 50, what’s the point?"

So I quit. And I found my joy.

And what was this life-changing joy? Making ghee - a healthier alternative for butter and oil. Standing over the stove, transforming butter into a healthier alternative, I discovered my joy.

Eventually, it wasn't a matter of if I'd leave my job and career – but when.

And it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

If you're considering joining me in the Great Resignation or simply wondering if now is a good time to start a new business, here are some lessons from someone who quit their job three months ago, and some takeaways from my journey so far.

There's never a "right" time.

You can ask yourself if this is the right time to leave your job or not, but dig a little deeper and consider what's stopping you from finding your joy. Fast forward to 50, 60, or even 70 years of age, and imagine yourself still going through the motions in your current career or industry. 

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If you can't follow your joy now, what's the point?

Starting a business? You have to love your product more than anybody else will.

You know that friend who has just fallen in love and can’t stop talking about it? It's fine listening to them chatter about how wonderful their new partner is for the first minute or so, then you’re looking at your watch, checking your phone, and making excuses to exit stage left. 

You must become THAT person. But now, you have to learn how to convince everyone else to love your new partner too.

Lisa with her product line. Image: Supplied.

Passion is a partnership.

Allow me to explain. 'Finding your passion' gets a lot of airtime. We are constantly told to live our passion, discover our passion, find meaning in our life, or somehow we are not living a fulfilled life. It can get confusing.

In the search for meaning, we can equate passion with something we are good at, or we get an ego boost out of it because others love us for it. But that’s not passion. True passion is a driving force. Passion will have you skipping social outings and not caring what others think. Passion will have you working seven days a week and loving every minute of it. Passion has vision and a life of its own. We don’t discover passion, it chooses us. True passion is a partnership between ourselves and something greater.

Get up, get dressed, do the work.

No, this is not me channeling Kim Kardashian's 'no one wants to work hard anymore'. But it is me telling you that your life, your business, your 'passion' is your job now. 

If I'm not at my desk trying to find distributors, packing orders, or not focusing on what needs to be done, the passion is silently heading to the back door and ripping up our partnership agreement. 

Elizabeth Gilbert alludes to this in her book Big Magic. She writes, "If you refuse to be the vehicle to the idea, then the muse will find someone else." Passion will leave the building, your business will just be a shell, and you’ll find yourself reading about someone else successfully doing what you 'thought of first' a year from now. If you don't do the work, nothing happens.

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Your personal cash flow may need to tighten, but that's okay.

When leaving the safety of a regular and steady paycheck, it's only natural to feel nervous about a tightening of your personal cash flow. Save in advance if you can. Prepare as much as possible. Take up opportunities for free or funded mentoring via government programs. Get as much help as you can.

Be mindful about who you listen to.

Who you share your vision with in the early days is critical. A vision begins with a seed of an idea - you water it, muse over it, and get clearer over time. Other people’s opinions, ideas, and criticism can stunt your growth and stymie your vision. So be careful who you share your vision with. Chatting to your uncle who's never been in business? Don't take what he says as gospel. I have visions for my business that no one else knows about yet.

Listen to 8 Minutes to Change Your (Work) Life, where Dr Mellisa Marot shares why some habits are harder to keep than others, and which habits are the best ones to make. Post continues after video.


Be true to yourself and your vision.

The more success you achieve, the more people will knock on your door and opportunities will come your way. I've had a few opportunities that were exciting, flattering, and offered the potential for rapid growth, but the energetic match wasn’t there. I wanted to say yes, but in keeping integrity to the vision and my passion, it was a no. 

Listening to your intuition and being true to your vision are very real skills we don’t often talk about. Yet, like all skills, they are learned (or remembered) and need to be kept top of mind and practiced until they become our unconscious competence.

Listen to the serendipity, ride the wave and be careful what you wish for.

When I finally decided to go all-in on making ghee and launching my business, the change was immediate. No longer was I hustling, pushing, and surviving. Instead, I experienced flow, grace, and ease. Things started to fall into my lap. 

For example, I started thinking about selling my ghee at the Adelaide Farmers Market, and a few days later I was at an event and the person that runs the market was there, and without prompting he invited me to get involved. Call it what you will, but manifestation works. The still whisper, the nudge: listen to it, let it guide you. It’s trying to tell you something. 

Celebrate the wins.

An attitude of gratitude and celebrating the smallest of wins builds momentum, and like a hot air balloon rising, those puffs of hydrogen - or gratitude, in this case - set it sailing high and onto new adventures. If we refuse to high-five ourselves, recognise the serendipity, the calls from out of the blue, or the article you thought would never get written, then it will slowly sink to the ground. Celebrate even the tiniest of wins and keep that balloon sailing. 

So, with those few lessons, good luck - and who's joining me?

Lisa Ormenyessy is the founder of OMGhee, Australia's only biodynamic and organic ghee.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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