Beyoncé’s ‘Break My Soul’ is an ode to the Great Resignation

Beyoncé released a new single, “Break My Soul,” on Monday. The song references quitting a job and employee stress, alluding to the recent big quit trend.

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The Great Resignation is part of the spirit of the times. If you need proof, just ask Beyoncé.

The superstar singer’s new single, “Break My Soul”, which was released on Monday night, taps into the worker unrest that has driven a record number of Americans out of work. It’s the first song from her seventh studio album, Renaissance, which will be released on July 29.

Beyoncé’s ode to Free Your Job is the latest cultural reference to the Great Resign labor trend that began in the spring of 2021, around the time the US economy was reopening more broadly after its lull in the economy. pandemic era.

Since then, Americans have used social media site TikTok to publicly quit their jobs, in so-called “Quit-Toks”. In a popular Reddit forum, users shared stories about resignation and resignation text messages to bosses.

“It’s been interesting to see how much the phenomenon has infiltrated the zeitgeist,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, said of the big resignation.

Beyoncé’s track “is an example of broader public awareness or discussion about people leaving jobs, which reflects what’s happening in the job market and society,” Bunker said.

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“Beyoncé wants us to quit our jobs”

“Break My Soul” hit No. 1 on iTunes’ Top 100 Songs chart on Tuesday, according to PopVortex.

In the song’s first verse, Queen Bey riffs on employee burnout over a catchy beat:

And I just left my job / I’m going to find a new record / Damn they work me so hard / Work at nine / Then five / And they make my nerves work / That’s why I can’t sleep at night night.”

Shortly after, Beyoncé uses a vocal sample of Greater Freediathe 2014 song “Explode” to reiterate this theme:

“Free your anger, free your mind / Free your work, free the time / Free your commerce, free the stress / Free the love, forget the rest.”

Many fans hinted at the Great Resignation on social media on Tuesday. “An hour into the work day and I understand why Beyoncé told me to quit my job,” said a wrote on Twitter; “Beyoncé is telling me to quit my full-time job and become a full-time streamer and like…I could…just do it…??” another one tweeted.

Fiverr, which provides services to freelancers, used the song as a marketing launchpad, Tweeter: “Beyoncé wants us to quit our jobs and make a living on our own terms. You heard the woman.”

Burnout, wages continue to fuel the Great Resignation

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The overall story of the past two years is more [one] workers finding more opportunities and seizing them rather than due to burnout and job abandonment in general.

nick bunker

economist at Indeed

“Research shows time and time again that people quit not because their jobs don’t pay enough, but because their work isn’t meaningful or fulfilling enough,” according to a recent report by Korn Ferry, a company global organizational consultancy.

Salary seems to play a role for many workers – and some economists think it’s a key factor.

Hourly wages jumped 6.1% in May from a year earlier, the biggest annual increase in at least 25 years, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

The momentum stems from record levels of labor demand, which has caused companies to compete for scarce talent by raising wages, particularly in certain sectors such as leisure and hospitality (bars, restaurants, hotels) and retail.

Job postings near all-time highs; workers capitalized on that availability to leave their current jobs and take on new, better-paying gigs, Bunker said.

“The overall story of the past two years is more [one] of workers are finding more opportunities and taking them rather than due to burnout and job abandonment in general,” Bunker said.

In the past, burnt-out workers may not have felt empowered to leave a job and find a new one easily, he added.

According to the Pew Research Center, low wages and lack of opportunity for advancement are the top motivators for workers to leave jobs in 2021, followed by feelings of disrespect at work.

How a falling job market can affect quits

Of course, there are indications that the labor market could be cooling this year – and, perhaps with it, the big quit trend.

On the one hand, the Federal Reserve is raising borrowing costs for consumers and businesses in an effort to slow the economy and rein in high inflation, which has eroded the purchasing power of average consumers despite rising wages. higher. The US central bank expects unemployment to rise slightly due to its policy.

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