Digital Resignation: Workers Are Live-Quitting on TikTok

Popular culture is full of scenes involving highly public and dramatic resignations. Who can forget Jerry Maguire walking out on his high-powered sports agent job to start his own shop, Jennifer Aniston’s character Joanna quitting her waitressing job at Chotchkie’s after one too many reminders about her flair in the movie Office Space, or the Johnny Paycheck song “Take this Job and Shove It”?

public digital resignation

Employees Taking Resignations Public

Fortunately for employers, real-life resignations tend to be less dramatic and more cordial. Employees tend to be wary of burning bridges, and it’s customary to stick around for at least 2 weeks post-resignation to help with the employer’s transition. That may be changing, however, with the rise of so-called #quittok videos, which show typically younger workers livestreaming or recording the moment they call it quits.

That may be changing, however, with the rise of so-called #quittok videos, which show typically younger workers life-streaming or recording the moment they call it quits.

“Though these #quittok videos take different forms—filming workers’ departures on a live Zoom call, or documenting the second they turn in a letter of resignation—each clip captures the real-time moment when workers quit,” writes Megan Tatum in an article for BBC Worklife.

For example, Tatum shares the story of Christina Zumbo, 31, a former Australian government worker who shared her quit experience with her 140,000+ TikTok followers.

It’s a ‘Younger Worker’ Thing

Tatum’s reporting suggests younger workers’ experience of growing up in the Digital Age is a big part of the new trend. “The majority of young users on TikTok have grown up as digital natives, sharing every kind of milestone online,” she writes. “To some extent, says California-based therapist and coach Tess Brigham, it’s natural they’d also share private conversations with employers about their decision to quit.”

Highly public resignations can be embarrassing for employers and are a pretty negative form of publicity. Although employers may be able to mitigate the risk of such public resignations by clearly documented policies on social media activity at work or involving the company name or brand, the ubiquity of digital devices and platforms to share such content means #quittok videos probably aren’t going away anytime soon.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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