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Maslow 3.0, the new workplace necessities & the Great Resignation

Updated: Jun 28

We’ve all heard of the Maslow pyramid, and at one point or another in our lives, agreed that there are some basic needs we need to cover. For example, the most basic needs are clear: we all need food, water and shelter; and to feel safe, have stability and not be afraid. Then we move up to other types of basic needs: feel the love from our friends, family, significant other. Followed by recognition, respect, achieving or mastering something. And at the top of the pyramid, self-actualization: we pursue our inner talent, creativity and achieve fulfillment.
Adapted Maslow pyramid

In 2022, we are looking at the Great Resignation in the eyes, and employers and companies have had to adjust to this new reality. There are many interesting articles about the Great Resignation, but this one here by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) mentions that this mass resignation is not new or “because of Covid”. It was something already in the works pre-pandemic. Sure, there were state-sponsored benefits to help people out during lockdowns.

But afterwards, in growing job markets, not everyone was rushing to find a new job, and many others decided to quit. Can we say that maybe some of Maslow’s bases were not being covered?

On the one hand, on a personal level, we had no battery left in our lives to multi-task all the time: work, home, family, on repeat, 24/7.

On the other hand, on a professional level, we needed more flexibility. We found it by working from home, or from anywhere we needed to be.

Have you given this any thought? What type of flexibility would you or are you looking for? For some people, flexibility means being able to manage their own working hours. For others, it means being able to work from anywhere: the beach on Monday, and the mountains on Thursday.

Digital nomad working on a beach

Like the WSJ article says, “Hiring was coming back, workers suddenly held the cards, a historic event was unfolding: Why not use it to re-evaluate your priorities? For some it has really worked out. Pew Research reported in March 2022: “Those who quit and are now employed elsewhere are more likely than not to say their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and more work-life balance and flexibility.”

The Pew report reveals that Americans have quit their jobs in the last year because of the following 3 main items:

* Low pay / low salaries
* Lack of opportunities for advancement
* Feeling disrespected at work

Have you felt like this in the recent past? Have you considered looking for a new job in this new context?
What are your must-haves today? Do you also feel this flexibility has to become the new normal?

Feel free to reach out to us if you’re on the move and looking for help to update your résumé. Not only that, we can also help you set your priorities straight and set you up for success in your upcoming interviews.

In the meantime, you can:

* Access my best-seller job search Masterclass, where you can learn about effective job search techniques abroad, and you will also access supervised résumé edits.
* Contact me directly here!
* Or shoot me an e-mail with your personal story at

Going back to Maslow’s pyramid, do you feel all of your basic needs are covered? Maybe now is a good time to sit down and reflect not only about work, but also on where you are and where you want to go in other aspects of your life.


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