OK, so you’ve decided you want to quit your job. You start typing your letter of resignation, but something feels…off. You begin rehearsing over and over in your mind the speech you’ll give in your boss' office, but that also fails to capture all of the emotions you have bottled up inside that are literally bursting to come out.
Then, genius strikes – "I'll make a VIDEO!"
It’s creative. It’s emotional. And oh yeah, if you play your cards right, it may garner hundreds? Thousands? Maybe even millions of views and legions of fans. Not to mention, it may be just the right dose of ‘@*$!# you’ you were secretly hoping to give your soon-to-be former employer all along.
Well, you're not alone. Check out this round-up of videos, a.k.a. “I Quit” videos or “Quiteos” from brave souls who dared to go where few have gone before. (Note: Salsa Labs does not endorse quitting your job via video, but if you do, we’ll happily watch and share.)
1) An Interpretive Dance for My Boss Set to Kayne West’s "Gone”
OK, so you’re probably familiar (maybe even inspired) by Maria Shifrin – the 25-year-old who worked for a Taiwanese animation company whose self-described “interpretive dance” to Kanye West’s song “Gone” electrified YouTube audiences and disgruntled workers alike. Since first being posted in September 2013, the video has racked up more than 18,000,000 views. This wasn’t the first video of its kind, but it certainly broke new ground and (ironically?) opened doors for a new genre of ‘I Quit’ videos:
2) Joey Quits (worker quits Renaissance Providence Hotel w/ marching band)
This particular Quiteo is not just about one employee’s dissatisfaction with their employer but is connected to a full range of grievances from multiple employees and even a boycott of the hotel’s services to improve labor conditions. Possibly a new tactic in the toolbox for online advocacy? Stay tuned.
3) Google, I Quit!
But before you go writing off every “I Quit” video as some publicity stunt at best or at worst, a sure-fire way to never get employed again, check out this video salute that one employee gave before exiting Google and its famed headquarters, the Googleplex. This mix of honest and positive is an albeit rare chord to strike in the growing sea of this genre, but a welcome approach when documenting this highly personal moment that we often face with conflicting feelings. Plus, we love the idea of more scooters in the office!
4) Quitting on Live TV
Just when you think the “I Quit” video has peaked on YouTube, television news reporters take it to a whole new level. These two examples show what happens when you decide to quit your job on live TV.
So, what are we supposed to make of this new phenomenon? No doubt that the “I Quit” video will continue to evolve with varying degrees of humor, hostility, musical accompaniment and that special je nie sais quoi that beckons every worker to imagine re-creating this supreme moment at one point or another in their own career.
But before you go and hit the “Record” button, here are just a few things to consider:
- Get perspective. There is actually a right and a wrong way to work. Be sure that you’re doing it the right way so you don't get burned out and pushed beyond your limit. In other words, work smart, not hard.
- Get inspired. Nonprofit life is tough, but it’s not something you need to endure on your own. Find the humor in the situation and make meaningful connections with others in the field.
- Get real! Realize that the Quiteo strategy only works if you’re young, established and/or talented enough in your professional career to recover quickly from such a flashy display. Your goal, in part, may be to say “thanks” to your employer but the very essence of an “I Quit” video is saying a big, fat “no thanks”.
Bottom line - It’s never a good idea to burn bridges – even if it makes a really, really, really awesome video.