The ‘great resignation wave’ has hit overseas. It’s predicted to wash over Australia from early 2022. A great time to hustle for that pay rise, extra leave or exit all together. Why is it that talented executives are leaving in droves? And is this a sustainable trend?

Covid changed things

If there is one thing we can agree on from Covid, it is that it changed things. What ever trends were in play BC (before Covid) accelerated during (Zoom, online shopping, tree change). And once that snow ball is in motion, there is little stopping it.

The ‘great resignation wave’ has already hit the US. It is currently in Singapore. And predicted to be washing over Australian shores from February 2022. It’s an incredible time to be a talented executive (think 20% pay rise AND 6 weeks leave).

But increasingly these great leaders will be exiting well paid jobs to start their own companies. Why? Network effect, a shift in mindset and capital access.

Network effect

Network effect happens when more people move towards something, pulling even more people with them. Think Instagram. The more of your friends are on there, the more you want to be on there.

Network effect is a flywheel that propels us forward. The energy generated by the early pushes of the wheel accelerate to a pace where it’s hard to say whether it was the 7th or 127th push that made all the difference.

A network effect is enabled by a network economy. You know, people doing commerce via laptops across geographical and cultural boundaries.

Only today, I had a call with the customer experience executive of a national blue collar company, undergoing tremendous change.

No way I could access these people 10 years ago. They were beholden to the established players, the big agencies, the multinationals.

Cultural shift

That brings me to the most important shift. Beyond a network effect, enabled by a network economy is a major cultural shift.

The culture has been permanently changed from Covid. People are over the hamster wheel. They want autonomy and control to master their own destinies. Companies can’t be trusted, their white knuckling days are behind them.

This path was walked up by leaders before I started Long & Co five years ago. But even at that time, starting my own agency alternative from the kitchen bench seemed pretty fanciful. There were spots during Covid where my self doubt had some firm knocks on my door. Yet, here I am. Working with bigger and bigger players. More and more talented suppliers. Pushed forward by a wave I spotted on the horizon in 2016.

Will it last?

Yes and no. No doubt plenty of people will walk out in disgust come February 2022. Armed with summer hues and a ‘whose with me’ attitude. And good on them. I work with, and have regular chats to, people who have fought it out at the top only to have had enough. If this is you, or someone you know, this is a great time to start something. You will find more people than you think, ready to support and cheer you on. Its not as frightening out here today, as it was 5 or even 10 years ago.

That said, don’t do anything silly will you? Stop and think: Will what I am planning to do, be what the market needs? Will my idea catch the momentum of an oncoming set, about to hit our shores? Am I making the right moves now, to set myself up for what is about to wash over all of us? Yes?

Woo! This is our decade my friend. When you are ready, reach out and share your idea, fears and excitements. I am taking bookings for new projects for 2022.

I work with scale ups and larger businesses looking to reinvigorate their growth. Get in touch on or stay in touch via social.

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