The Great Renunciation, or Great Resignation, is a startling phenomenon that began in the United States in mid-2020in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, millions of American workers started quitting their jobs. This trend began to spread rapidly around the world, reproducing itself almost mimetically in almost all Western industrialized countries.
What is behind the Great Renunciation?
The reasons for this profound silent revolution remain to be defined, given the youth of the phenomenon and the absence of studies on the subject. But the data speaks for itself. In Spain, a study by Infojobs shows that 27% of workers in our country intend to leave their jobs in the next year.
Many experts see this resignation as another consequence of the pandemic that has recently ravaged the planet, while others, the majority, including myself, believe that COVID-19 has only to give the final boost to a trend that had been around for a long time.
It stems from the perception of the work context
Indeed, for a long time, particularly among younger and middle-aged skilled professionals, there has been evident dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction with their work and professional development.
The aforementioned study supports certain figures that quantify the causes of this disaffection at work. Of the 27% of workers who are considering quitting their job, no less 32% would do so for mental health reasons. 27% base their decision on economic reasons, 26% say they want to devote themselves to a different activity and finally, 24% need a better balance between work and personal life.
As far as we are concerned, we cannot ignore the impact of mental health on this phenomenon. The question is, will the mental deterioration, already installed, secondary to the pandemic, be the cause of this resignation? Or was it the working conditions themselves, exacerbated by the pandemic, that started the trend?
If we consider the other three cases; economic reasons, change of activity or need for conciliation, it is clear that The pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg and that deep down there is absolute disillusionment among people with their work and the role it plays in their lives.
Chicken or egg, the fact is that we have another argument to explain the increased deterioration of mental health as a result of the pandemic and that is none other than the desperate relationship of many of our fellow citizens with respect for present and future work.
To this term, the Great Resignation (Great Resignation) or Great Dimension (Great Quit), has recently been added the Renunciation or Dimisión Silenciosa (Quiet Quit). In other words, it is no longer just the fact of resigning from the position, but that, by remaining there, the worker adapts exclusively to his working hours and his predetermined functionswithout performing an hour or effort more than what was stipulated in his contract.
Well-known tweeter, Zaidleppelin explains it with meridian clarity: “You don’t give up on your job, you give up on the idea of growing and going further. Keep doing your tasks, but don’t subscribe to the culture of effort (…) Work is not your life”.
This reflection ties in perfectly with that of deterioration of mental health. In my opinion, the labor market evolves in parameters of demand and uncertainty so brutal that, associated with an ever lower remuneration and a lower appreciation of the merits of the worker, they have ended up undermining the motivation of this one . Some because they are breaking down emotionally and others because they don’t want to put their sanity on the line, the fact is the phenomenon is unstoppable.
Not too long ago, I received a request from a sales person from a digital company who came to offer us an innovative service. He was an excellent salesman who, in fact, made him accept his offer.
However, in the conversation, I saw him so anxious and confused that I inquired a little about his professional work. He was the 1865 worker of an enormous multinational. As such, within the company, he had a number, he was a number. Complements to achieve sales targets increased every year, so it was almost better not to sell so much, since the following year, to achieve the same remuneration, I had to sell more and more, and so on. ‘infinite.
Our meeting was over, with the contract for his offer signed, he sat on my couch doing therapy and eventually quit his job at the fledgling multinational. And it wasn’t me who pushed him to quit, it was something that, along the lines of this article, he was working on in his head. All it takes is a moment of calm, a sofa and a friend to quit your crazy job.
As a conclusion
I think these phenomena and trends, like almost everything, have a multifactorial, multicausal origin, but in the background is the meaning of life and sanity. Our productive, working-class model, our social model, and even our health care model are making waves, and this time it doesn’t seem to be producing political revolution or street unrest.
The answer is silence, a kind of disaffection, resignation to the type of life and work in which we are immersed and which has begun to lose its meaning. I think medical professionals have a lot to say about thisit’s a shame that the deterioration of mental health continues to increase exponentially and may end up overwhelming the system.
Author: Javier Elcarte. Founder and director of Vitaliza. Expert in traumatology.