A new trend is emerging after the pandemic It gave rise to exhausted workers “quiet resignation” of their jobs. Now, disgruntled workers are broadcasting their resignations on social media platforms such as TikTok under the hashtag “Quittok”.
Workplace experts have dubbed this phenomenon, which is largely driven by members of Generation Z, “quitting out loud.” And while some young professionals may get positive reinforcement from their circle of followers, career and HR professionals in general discourage the practice.
The danger: Overconfessional or unprofessional videos will appear online for years to come, potentially turning away future employers who might fear exposure similarly.
“You have to consider the way it’s done,” workplace consultant Mike Jones, founder of Better Happy, a consulting firm focused on employee engagement, told CBS MoneyWatch. “If it’s done with a bad attitude, it will reflect badly on them in the future, and it’s hard to make something disappear from the internet. Even if your employer treats you badly, you’ll have a video showing you being unprofessionally followed for the rest of your life.”
“It’s time to move on”
Quittok has only recently begun to gain traction as a social phenomenon. Some trace its origins back to 2024, when British McDonald’s employees quit en masse and one worker documented the resignation in video Posted on TikTok. The video has since been viewed 16 million times on the platform.
On social media, the hashtag #quittok has attracted more than 41 million views. For example, when a TikTok user decided she had had enough of her role, which she described as a “corporate job,” she broadcast the moment she nervously notified her boss that she was quitting.
“I just wanted to call you and let you know that I’ve made a decision that it’s time for me to move on,” viewers can hear her say to her manager, who doesn’t appear in the video.
In a similar vein, other short clips depict workers simply pondering and openly debating whether or not to quit.
“Sometimes they’re unhappy at work and talk about wanting to quit, but they don’t necessarily do it alive,” said Jones of Better Happy.
Some who document their journeys to unemployment, or perhaps a more satisfying job, say they do so to motivate other similarly frustrated employees to break free. said one TikToker recently videoShe said, “I don’t have anything in line, and that’s fine.” “I am here to tell you that you also have permission to quit your job which is making you miserable.”
Not surprisingly, it is more common for younger workers to share their work problems online than it is for older generations.
“The main reason people are doing this today is because Gen Z have grown up in the digital age and are much more comfortable communicating through technology and social media than they are in person,” said Jones. “So when problems persist at work, or when they are unhappy at work, they don’t feel comfortable talking about it [in person.] They let the case pile up, and got so frustrated that they decided to take it public.”
Jones said this trend is also forcing employers to be more responsible and mindful of how they treat workers in this digital age, when information is shared freely and can quickly reach potential employees.
“Overall, it creates a high level of accountability,” he said. “We used to have very little protection for workers, and managers could get away with treating workers like dirt and never getting caught. That creates root accountability around that, and that’s a good thing.”
Jones added that if employers don’t like seeing workers air their grievances on social media, it’s best to “make them feel we care about them.”
By contrast, others deride the trend as unprofessional and say there are more tactful ways for unhappy workers to leave their jobs or celebrate making a change.
“It’s simply bad manners, with a heavy dose of narcissism,” Steve Palmisano, founder of marketing and consulting firm AdElevat, wrote on LinkedIn. “Anyone who does this should be able to recognize that it is bad form on many levels.”