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.
Larry Busacca | PW18 | Getty Images
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.
Learn more about personal finance:
How Parents Cope With Rising Childcare Costs
Tax experts ‘very skeptical’ of expanding IRS voice robots
80% of economists see “stagflation” as a long-term risk
“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
Audtakorn Sutarmjam / Eyeem | Eye | Getty Images
More than 47 million people quit their jobs voluntarily last year, an all-time high, according to the US Department of Labor.
The frantic pace continued into 2022. More than 4.4 million people quit in March, a monthly record; a similar number did so in April, the last month for which federal data is available.
Anthony Klotz, an associate professor at University College London School of Management who coined the trend’s well-known moniker while teaching at Texas A&M University, recently cited widespread burnout among workers as one of four pandemic-related factors leading to high levels of drop-out.
More time at home has given workers time to reevaluate their priorities and values, and employees are reluctant to give up remote work.
“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
Whatever the reason, the wave of resignations appears to be fueling stress and dissatisfaction among remaining staff members, which may, in turn, contribute to more resignations, especially if labor market conditions remain favorable to workers.
More than half (52%) of employees who chose to stay (after a co-worker left) report taking on more work and responsibility, according to a Society for Human Resource Management investigation.
Nearly a third struggle to get the job done, 27% feel less loyal to their organization, 28% feel more lonely or isolated, and 55% wonder if their pay is high enough, according to the report. survey published in October.
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.