QuitTok Live Quitting Online on Channel 9 Today Extra
Date: 5 July 2023
Media: Channel 9’s Today Extra Show, National Australian Television
Story: Quit-Tok Trend – Live Quitting Online
Hosts: David Campbell and Sylvia Jeffreys
Guest: Sue Ellson
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0cC0F_iBfg
On 5 July 2023, I appeared on Channel 9’s Today Extra show to talk about the US trend of quitting your job online either live or via a re-enactment. Here is the recording:
The latest is QuitTok a trend getting popularity overseas amongst Gen Z and Millennials as they live stream themselves leaving their jobs to millions online I don’t know about this one wow career expert Sue Ellson is live in Melbourne with more so good morning to you What is Quit-Tok and how did it all start?
Yes well it started with a video in the US where a McDonald’s store all the staff left and they filmed it and it went viral so then people started filming their own resignations online with their Zoom meetings and or they reenacted it and then they would add the hashtag #QuitTok or #quitmyjob now the good news is it hasn’t taken off in Australia but some research by LinkedIn and census-wide is showing that over 66 percent of Millennials and Gen Zed are actually considering switching their jobs in 2023.
Oh well probably we’ll see this trend take off here why do you think they’re quitting their jobs in such a high rate or thinking about it
Yes well a Deloitte research survey of 22,000 and people across 44 countries showed that these generations make their decisions on their values so if the values are mismatched then they’re more likely to consider other options so they also will go against the traditional nine to five and a lot of them actually have entrepreneurial aspirations as well
Okay I’ve got to ask though back on QuitTok if there are so many people are considering resigning would you warn people against doing this and why
Absolutely because obviously if it’s live in public then a future employer 75% of them are going to Google you before a job interview 95% before a job offer so they’re likely to find it now it could be against the company’s social media policy they could see you as high risk so I definitely would not be encouraging it and I imagine a lot of employers would just run the other way as soon as they saw something like that
Let me go the other way here so do you think it’s good that the younger generation are looking at their ethics and their morals when they look at these jobs saying well this isn’t for me I don’t like how this workplace functions and maybe that will force workplaces to pivot and change the way they’re they’re hiring people?
Well I think it’s a reason so if it was you know terrible environmental issues or they paid really badly or they had other unfair work conditions then being an advocate for that change could be a really great thing but for a lot of people it still seems like oh the young people whinging again so I think you’ve got to be a little bit careful about the approach that you’re taking and why you’re doing it and also ask yourself do I really want to be seen online in 10 years time with this same kind of information out there about me
There’s so much burnout out out there at the moment but how do you know when it is time to leave a job altogether or does time to maybe take a week off this is a shock what’s going on right now
Yeah well look I think something live you’re live quitting on it this is a so I’m so sorry I did not know this was happening a lot of people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to work you can’t get all your needs met at work and if 80% is pretty good and aligned with your values strengths and your personal circumstances you are doing really really well but as I said before if it’s unfair work conditions then definitely it’s possibly time to look for something else just don’t leave it up online
Sue always good advice we’re gonna have to live quit this segment now because only the segments only the second only the segments thank you come back soon see you soon Still to come this morning tennis royaltye
What exactly is ‘Quit-Tok’ and where did it start?
It started via a video posted on TikTok on 28 June 2021 of a McDonald’s store being empty after everyone ‘quit’ the video went viral and now people are either filming themselves quitting or re-enacting their resignation after the event and adding the #quittok or #quitmyjob hashtag to their online post.
It hasn’t really taken off here in Australia, but a survey conducted by LinkedIn and CensusWide of 2,000 Americans showed that 72% of Gen Z workers and 66% of millennial employees are looking to switch jobs this year. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/70-millennials-gen-z-quit-205358145.html
Why do you think more and more Gen Z and millennials are quitting their jobs?
The 2023 edition of Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey of 22,000 people across 44 countries suggests that these people make lifestyle and career decisions based on their values, and they have significant concerns around finances, climate change, and mental health.
So essentially, if there isn’t a values match, these generations are much more likely to look for other options beyond the regular 9-5 and many of them have entrepreneurial aspirations.
Is this impacting our workforce?
Yes. Many workplaces are finding it hard to keep up with the values-matching needed to attract and retain these candidates and meet their requirements for flexibility and environmental sustainability.
Some Australian companies are drawing a line in the sand and making it clear as to what they expect going forward with places like Atlassian and Canva implementing tougher performance management metrics https://www.afr.com/technology/atlassian-and-canva-turn-screws-on-staff-to-survive-the-downturn-20230630-p5dkx0
What factors should people consider when they are tossing up whether to resign?
It is important to ask yourself whether or not you have realistic expectations of your workplace as we cannot expect to have all of our needs or expectations met at work.
If your work is 80% aligned with your values, strengths and personal circumstances, you are doing really well and you may just need to have a few more meaningful conversations to negotiate what will work for both parties.
Fair work conditions are non-negotiable and if your safety is at risk, then you definitely need to look at your options immediately.
- realistic expectations
- 80% aligned
- fair work conditions
How do you know when it is time to leave a job and how should you go about it?
Don’t act in haste unless you want to repent at leisure! You really need to be clear on why you are leaving and have a direction for the future as it is always better to go from a job to a new job rather than from no job to a new job.
It is important to be well prepared and have your resume and LinkedIn Profile up to date and reconnect with people who can provide referrals.
When the big moment comes to resign, I would not recommend doing it live on social media! Make a time to meet with your boss and do it respectfully and in person and do what you can to leave on good terms as they will probably be contacted by your next employer for a reference check.
Resolving your issues before you move on helps you get a much better start in your next role.
- clear direction
- well prepared
- managed respectfully
Why would people want to quit online?
The way I see it, the online world is a bit like the wild west and everything we do in either our personal or professional life is appearing on social media so it was probably only a matter of time before resigning would happen there too.
Interestingly on LinkedIn, there was the ‘crying CEO’ Braden Wallake of HyperSocial who announced he had to dismiss two employees out of 17 and it was his fault and that video went viral too – but in his case, he was ridiculed for sharing the story online and making it all about him https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bradenwallake_this-will-be-the-most-vulnerable-thing-ill-activity-6962886723617910784-_L4w – many people were upset that when the CEO of Hootsuite, Tom Keiser announced a major global workforce reduction in a responsible way and that didn’t go viral at all and he was spruiking for his former employees https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tom-keiser_today-we-announced-internally-that-weve-activity-6962846827519893504-jQRg/
So does that mean that there are issues with announcing you want to quit online?
Absolutely, for a variety of reasons.
- Can be viewed as attention seeking
- Risk of legal action from employer
- Seen by future potential employers
- Not address the real issues
If there are so many risks, why do you think people are still willing to do it?
For a generation that has ‘grown up’ online, the way they share information is typically online. I recently heard that some people are consuming so much that content that one week online in 2023 is roughly equivalent to a whole year’s worth of content in the 1980’s. I guess it is another place for what used to be called the grapevine in the office or gossiping on the phone, now it is all out there in the public domain
- Another part of their journey
- Help others facing tough choices
- Showcasing vulnerability and authenticity
- Keeping it personal
Is this trend something that employers need to be concerned about?
Well just as an enterprise needs to be aware of cybersecurity risks, they also need to be aware of social media risks. Now could be a good time to review and update your social media policy and make sure that during the onboarding process, new recruits are advised about how to leave and what the offboarding process will be.
Many of these issues can be avoided if the workplace keeps communication lines open and ensures that people can share their concerns in private conversations, not public broadcasts.
- Review and update social media policy
- Provide offboarding information during onboarding
- Keep communication lines open
- Encourage in-person conversations not broadcasts
Do you think it is a trend that is likely to take off in Australia?
I sincerely hope not. I believe the employment relationship is between the employee and employer, not the general public. There are various places to seek support if you need it, but airing your grievances publicly is fraught with potential risk and does not usually solve the issue. Ask yourself, how would you feel watching this video in 10 years time? Would you be proud of that content or feel like you were making a mountain out of a molehill?
The way I see it, employers need to make sure:
✅ your social media policy is up to date (and everyone knows what it is)
✅ in-person communication channels remain open
✅ during the onboarding process you let people know what you expect if they want to quit
Candidates need to:
✅ do your research before you take on the job offer
✅ make sure your needs are met outside of work as well as at work
✅ have realistic expectations about what you provide and what the employer provides in exchange
What do you think?
Could this online trend take hold here in Australia?
Are there any benefits to putting up this type of content online that I am missing?
Personally, I believe in dealing with the issues at the source, not publicly…