From Languishing to Thriving – Career & Life Transitions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million U.S. workers left their jobs in April 2021.  The trend has continued over the summer. Globally, Microsoft’s Work Trend Index reports that 40% of workers surveyed are thinking about quitting their jobs.

Employees are in transition, and we are in the midst of what is being called the Great Resignation.

Many organizations are quickly realizing they need to redesign the workplace to manage this exodus and upheaval as employees leave in droves to find greater work/life balance, more autonomy, and better fit and pay.

Impacts from the pandemic, including employee exhaustion, new found autonomy, and pent up energy are all contributing to this Great Resignation. Research confirms that the demands of the last 18 months have taken an exceptional toll on women. Women report feeling tired and overwhelmed by juggling work, caring for aging parents and children, and navigating other demands brought on by the pandemic. In April 2020, McKinsey & Company reported that 1 in 4 women managers surveyed were looking to leave their jobs. This rose to 1 in 3 in 2021. Women’s participation in the workforce has dropped to 1988 levels, according to an analysis done by the National Women’s Law Center. And at this rate, it will take 99 years to reach gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum.

The pandemic has given us time to reflect on how we work, how we play, how we socialize, and how we live. At RRR, we are seeing many women seek transitions not only in their professional lives, but in their personal lives as well. Women are looking for opportunities to cultivate passions, express their values, and adopt healthier lifestyles. It is not just about changing careers, it is about reenergizing the way they live.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant highlights a concept he calls languishing in his recent New York Times article. He uses the term to describe people who aren’t necessarily depressed or truly burned out. They still have energy, but are a bit joyless and feel aimless. According to his research, they report a sense of stagnation and emptiness. Grant notes that the pandemic has shifted many people from a state of thriving to one of languishing, where they experience a ‘dulling of delight’ and a ‘dwindling of drive.’

At RRR, we find that transitioning from a state of languishing to one of thriving can be done with attention and intention. Spending time doing what we love, setting foundational goals that lead to small wins and progress, and engaging in experiences that create a sense of awe and wonder energize us. Such experiences carry us across the threshold from languishing to thriving.

As we collectively move through this Great Resignation, we have an opportunity to rethink what we are saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to – a foundational part of any creative process. While organizations are rethinking workplace structures and rhythms, and leaders are rethinking ways to motivate and retain workers, how are you rethinking your current and next life chapter?

Most women who have participated in RRR’s Guided Career & Life Transitions program enrolled in the course with the goal of creating new professional opportunities. However, many women have shared that they’ve successfully used the program to create opportunities to thrive in other areas in their lives.

If you find yourself languishing as a result of the last 18 months, we invite you to join us for our next 6-week Guided Career & Life Transitions program. And if you have taken the course before and want to repeat it with a new lens, please reach out to us at for a discount.

By Retreat Reinvent Recharge
Retreat Reinvent Recharge