Chicago — Gen Z is walking away from jobs in a new way.
TikTok has become the preferred way for the generation to share broadcasting resigning from their jobs. The platform’s #quittok has more than 50 million views while other hashtags like #quitmyjob and #iquitmyjob has more than 381 and 91 million views, respectively, according to the New York Post.
The trend took off in 2021 after a clip of a UK McDonald’s worker quit mid-shift went viral. Since then, thousands have shared similar videos on the platform. Some videos depict employees live-quitting during calls with their managers on the phone or on Zoom. Others depict a person hitting send on a resignation email, with the quitter relaying their perspective.
Quitting my corporate stable job that I love in this economy??? Y’all should have seen my dads face when I told him hahaha.
Experts who’ve watched the trend unfold on social media told the Post that the phenomena is complex. Many of the people quitting are digital natives, who use platforms like TikTok to express themselves and share their most intimate moments and life experiences.
“It’s how this generation has experienced, it’s how they’ve learned to be in the world,” said therapist Tess Brigham. “If you grow up used to recording and sharing things, why wouldn’t you share these larger, more significant moments in time?”
@christinainbloom WHY IS THIS SO HARD? It’s okay to leave things that don’t make you happy, in fact - you are probably going to be better off than staying in that comfort bubble that you aren’t growing in. As an anxious people pleaser, I’ve never been able to see it that way. But today, I chose to put myself first. No more quiet quitting over here… it’s my life and I want to be the main character instead of watching it play out from afar without a say. #resignation #villianera #quitwithme #quitmyjob #loudquitting #quietquitting #nervous #emotional #storytime #peoplepleaser #anxiety ♬ original sound - Christina Zumbo 🍋
The reason to quit on social media varies from person to person. For former Australian government worker Christina Zumbo, who shared her resignation email on TikTok in 2021, the decision came as a way to help others in similar situations.
“So many people who hate their jobs feel trapped in them, and then pretend like they are loving their jobs to their circle because not enjoying your job (which in many cases is so linked to your identity, as it is what you do with the majority of your time) – can sometimes (make you) feel like a failure or that you are lost without direction – and that’s really scary,” she said.
However, Sarah McCann-Bartlett, Australian HR Institute chief executive officer, urges people to think twice before resigning online.
“We do need to remember that recruiters and employers will often search social media to see the content that candidates have posted,” said McCann-Bartlett. “If you have posted negative comments about a previous employer or role, that might negatively affect your job prospects.”
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett