Millennial Workers Leave Toxic Workplaces in 'Great Resignation' Movement

Gillian Sisley

What has sparked this move and why so many are opting to leave their jobs.

The last two years have put what really matters into perspective for many around the globe.

Workers, in particular, have learned valuable lessons about some of the benefits of being able to work from home, the importance of managing their mental health in stressful times, and boundaries when it comes to separating work and life. In a KPMG Research study, 94% of respondents stated that they were extremely stressed at work.

However, the stress from the last few years has also put a lot of pressure on employers, causing higher demands for productivity and commitment so that companies can make up their lost footing throughout the pandemic.

In these trying times, a trend called ‘the Great Resignation’ has been taking place. This is a movement in which workers have been leaving their jobs out of complaints of stressful, unfair, or toxic work situations. These workers are choosing to value their overall mental health and well-being over the stability of their current 9-5.

There are plenty of examples of this taking place all over the internet, in particular on community boards such as Reddit. One such user, who goes by sleezystevie, published a now-viral Reddit post that touched on her reasoning for leaving her current role, and the backlash she received for that choice.

Healthy move for mental health, or career suicide?

Many workers who are resigning from their positions fall within the millennial generation age range, which makes it easier for older generations to blame entitlement or oversensitivity for this move.

More often than not, executive roles are taken by generations older than millennials, and many workers who are choosing to resign are receiving significant backlash from their older employers.

The viral Reddit post mentioned above, with over 17,000 upvotes, has the user explaining that she put in her two weeks notice for leaving a ‘toxic job’ after receiving an offer for a higher salary. She also explains that in her current job she's "overworked, over stressed", and doesn't have the resources to get her job done.

In response to her two-week resignation notice, she states that the CEO emailed her to say that her resignation was a ‘bad career move’, and that she was ‘throwing away endless opportunities’.

What is the right decision when overworked and burnt out?

The Reddit user went on to express how happy she was to see that her leaving made such an impact that her boss felt he had to lash out at her on her way out. She concludes the post by saying that she only has one more week until she is in her new role where she will make a higher income, and will have much better benefits and hours.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone hard. Surveys show that workers are more stressed and burnt out from the increased expectations in their jobs, along with the added stresses to come with living through a pandemic.

The Great Resignation is a movement where workers are reclaiming their dignity and boundaries, and laying down the law of what they feel their value is. By saying ‘no’ to environments, coworkers, and workplaces they feel are toxic, these workers are putting themselves and their mental well-being first so that they can be happier overall.

If the last few years have put anything into perspective, it's that life can change on a dime and that life is too short. With over 864,970 US lives lost due to COVID-19, many who had once prioritized their careers and work are starting to consider if there are more sides to life that should be put before their 9-5 job. This cultural shift is in part to blame for why the Great Resignation movement is taking place, and why we are unlikely to see the end of it anytime soon.

Workers feel that enough is enough, and they deserve to be treated with respect and gratitude for sticking around with their employers in a time of such incredible instability.

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