“I’m DONE.” Handling Employee Resignation While Owning a Franchise

Posted by Pete Gilfillan on Oct 23, 2022 7:38:34 PM
Pete Gilfillan

We’re in an era when a slew of workers have had all they can take of the hardships of traditional jobs. They’re dissatisfied with their pay, with their benefits, with the way they’re treated at the office, and with not having the flexibility to create some semblance of work/life balance. 

Sound familiar? 

Every job market has turnover, but we’re not talking about business as usual here. Forty-seven million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, shattering records for people voluntarily leaving the workplace. At the halfway point of 2022, even as many other economic factors experienced major shifts, that trend showed no signs of slowing. Twenty-five million people had already said, “Thanks but no thanks,” to their employers, and anyone who thought the Great Resignation would be over as soon as the world started to open back up for business got a reality check. 

According to various polls, 23% of employees came into 2022 intending to quit their jobs, 40% were considering quitting, and 44% were seeking new jobs. That’s a tremendous amount of unrest.

We all experienced the roots of this shift in the labor market in the spring of 2020, when the whole world went into a forced hibernation. Companies adapted—some of them with grace and honor, some with disrespect and greed, and most with something in between. We all had a lot of time to think about what matters most to us, about what we need, about what we’re getting, and about where we’re going. Whether you embraced this situation or went through it kicking and screaming, you really couldn’t help doing some soul-searching. I know I did—and that I frequently reflected on how glad I am that I left the corporate rat race a decade ago to build a business of my own. In times of uncertainty, there’s some comfort in knowing your fate is in your own hands. 

So what are the tens of millions of workers who walked away from their jobs over the past two years doing now?  

Some are going home. Retired, quit, or otherwise out of the game for good. But for most, that’s not an option. We need an income. We need to feel productive in a professional role. But we want more than just a job. 

A lot of people who feel that way are coming to franchising. It’s been a time of heavy traffic at Hire Yourself as many of these newly resigned workers and execs figure out their next steps. 

It makes perfect sense. If you want a sweater and you don’t know how to knit, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweater. You can go out and look at all the shapes, fabrics, and sizes and figure out what you like, what has value, what looks good on you. Likewise, if you want to become an entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily have to have a lightning strike of an idea, and you don’t have to spend years figuring out how to take that idea and turn it into a business model. You can go out and look among thousands of options to find a concept and systems that are a great fit for you and your lifestyle.   

The number of new business applications in the US soared between 2019 and 2021, from 3.1 million to 5.1 million. And many of those applications were from the same folks who left their corporate jobs behind. So let’s talk about what those who’ve come to franchising hope to find: 

-Independence. As one franchising candidate told me, “It’s time for me to be the boss. I’m sick and tired of working for other people—especially the ones who are less qualified or less committed to success than I am.” Another said, “I want to be treated with respect and see everyone I work with treated with respect, too. If I have to be the boss to create that kind of workplace culture, I’m ready to do it.”

-Flexibility. One of the best things about becoming a franchisee is choosing a business and setting a schedule that work with your priorities—instead of trying to squeeze the things that are most important to you in around your job’s demands. For me, this was one of the biggest, best, most life-changing results of leaving my corporate job and becoming a franchisee. I went from being a guy who expended an awful lot of energy trying to explain to my family and friends why I could not show up for them to being a husband who’d never miss a date night and a dad who sits in the front row at my kids’ activities. Getting rid of the guilt that came part and parcel with always having to make excuses for missing those events may have been the single best psychological boost of leaving my corporate job. 

--Money. There’s no getting around the fact that starting a franchise costs money, but those funds are an investment in future financial security. Once franchisees reach profitability, most find the financial benefits are wide-ranging—from having uncapped earning potential to opportunities for expansion to tax advantages and the growing value of the asset that is the business. Warren Buffett once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” When it comes down to it, ownership is the only way that’s ever going to happen. 

--An Exit Strategy. Speaking of working until you die . . . every day I speak with franchisee candidates who’ve left their corporate jobs with all these results in mind—plus the end-game of finding a way to retire with a steady income stream. In many ways, franchising is the perfect system to deliver that outcome. 

Workers have always wanted these things, but the labor market shifts of the pandemic years gave everyone a glimpse of new possibilities. As they look around to see where they can find something better across the board, many of them are finding their way to franchising.  


Want to learn more? Browse my library of free resources and subscribe to my blog and podcast at HIREYOURSELF.COM. 

Got questions? Good! Contact me at pgilfillan@hireyourself.com (email), 630-904-7900 (call), 630-345-4400 (text), or use the following link: https://go.hireyourself.com/meetings/pgilfillan to schedule a quick consultation call and learn about my complimentary service that helps potential investors explore and better understand franchise opportunities.

Pete Gilfillan is a leading franchise consultant, entrepreneur, and author of the best-selling book HIRE YOURSELF: Control Your Own Destiny through Franchise Ownership.

Topics: Franchise, entrepreneurship, recession

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