The silent resignation or how a generation stopped believing that it was a slave to work | The well-being


“You had the privilege of growing up in a world full of hope and we didn’t”. With this crudity he sums up the phenomenon quiet stop (translated as silent resignation) the tick tock Hunter Kaimi (nearly 800,000 subscribers on the social network), a 22-year-old American who explains in a video seen by more than three million people why he is not ready to sacrifice either his personal time or his mental health for a work that Instead of considering him “a human being”, he pays him the minimum wage possible, with which he cannot even imagine buying a house. He and his entire skilled generation, he says, are working wondering if they’ll be able to afford next month’s rent, so finds no meaning in the culture of unpaid overwork.

There are those who tell it with humor, but the bitterness it paints is the same. This is the case of Sarai Marie (Florida, 1.5 million followers on TikTok) and her videos with eight million views, in which she asks the question and the answer herself, simulating an employee-boss conversation:

-Did you talk about quiet stop around the office?

Yes, do you know what it is? Basically, go to work, finish your tasks and go home. You should try it one day.

–You create an unhealthy environment among employees.

–And don’t you think that telling your employees to go above and beyond their duties for a salary that barely allows them to live on is very unhealthy?

In fact, the first viral video with this hashtags it was posted on the social network in July by a netizen named Zaid Khan (“Your job is not your life”he said) and since then the conversation has transcended TikTok to reach other social networks such as Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, and media such as The New York Times, Guardian That is The cup. At this point the concept has been defined and redefined several times and although its meaning does not seem unanimous, what is clear is that anti-ambition is a growing phenomenon. Or, as Jaime Rubio explains in this opinion column, more and more people are clear that they won’t inherit the company.

Proponents of silent resignation seem to agree that the basic principle is not to overwork yourself. The term does not imply a permanent change of life but rather a change of attitude. That is to say that it is not a question of abandoning the work itself but the idea of ​​“going further”. The spirit of great resignation seems to have done away with the belief that one is worth what one’s work is worth.

The origin of this term is not entirely clear, but it seems to be an evolution of a movement called Tang-ping or flat profile, which took off in China last year in rejection of the culture of excess and has been condemned by the Chinese Communist Party and censored on social media.

Alexandra Nunon, Sociologist expert in business growth, she considers that it is a response of the younger generations to the “even more difficult” situation they are going through: the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the inflation have left a world of alarming inequality. . “There is a possible change in trend in the way of life at a sufficiency economy, which is based on an equitable distribution of resources and benefits. This system is based on fair wages, different from minimum wages, that is to say in relation to the cost of living”. Let us also remember that “for decades, we lived under the dictatorship of speed, of normalized self-exploitation. The culture of sufficiency, for me, is a definite no to the model low cost that breaks value chains and a resounding no to self-exploitation, to living a life that does not place personal life at the center of our daily lives. This perhaps explains why Wall Street, for the first time, is struggling to attract the best talent fresh out of American universities: people don’t want to work from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., they want to live and work consistent with life. Series Combinations of Netflix is ​​no longer feasible.

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School, the business school at the University of Pennsylvania, put it this way in a tweet: “Resigning quietly is not laziness. Doing the bare minimum is a common response to shitty jobs, abusive bosses, and low pay. When they don’t feel cared for, people eventually stop caring about others. If you want them to go the extra mile, start with meaningful work, respect and fair pay.”

Does this mean that we are witnessing a possible blackout of ambition? Alejandra Nuño reverses this perspective: “I don’t think the world of work can afford to reward mediocrity. I don’t think people should let themselves not want to grow up. Growth is part of our well-being. Hence the importance of adapting places, spaces and work structures to put human capital at the center of the company and not the other way around”. And he adds: “I believe that large companies can create a network of solidarity, empathy, honest, mature and pragmatic help, with the main objective of helping their own staff to live better.”

For their part, other opinion leaders have also raised their voices in defense of the culture of ambition and not of resignation. Arianna Huffington, for example, explained in the magazine fortune that “resigning quietly is not just quitting a job, it’s a step towards letting go of life”. And he assures that although he is an answer to the burnout syndrome, is not your solution. There are also those who point out that the term will be new, but the concept we talk about so much is old: the No compromise of the employee, tired of phrases like “you have to make an effort”, an effort that always ends up being unidirectional.

Gallupan international consultancy that conducts surveys on organizational climate, added an interesting thought on the subject on Twitter: “Most of us have heard of”quiet stopbut what about silent shot? This term refers to employees who are not taken into account. It includes workers who receive little promotion and have no opportunities for development or growth. Have you seen silent layoffs in action? #Firingsilent. The hashtags has his answer, of course: “There is a lot of talk about ‘quietly resigning’, but very little about ‘quietly laying off’, that is, when you don’t give someone a raise in five years even s he continues to do all he can.” what do you ask of him”.

In any case, it seems that people who “quietly quit” do what they do, which is establish healthy boundaries between their work and their personal life, which seems positive at first sight but which debunks the belief maintained by the generations that one will get a promotion by proving that he is the hardest worker, the first to come to the office, the one who says yes to everything and the one who accepts a job above his salary in the hope of get a raise in the future. Many workplaces have thrived on this illusion.

In their plea for a silent resignation, the younger ones wonder, bewildered, how is it possible that someone expects them to devote all their time and energy to a low-paying job with the dream of being able to buy a house and have kids if they can’t even know for sure that in 50 years the world will be a sustainable place to live. Whichever meaning of the term we prefer to choose, the phenomenon puts on the table that new generations are beginning to change their scale of values ​​and decide to prioritize aspects such as sustainability, mental health and a life that makes sense. to the culture of overwork.

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