The Great Layoff, Leaving Your Job, Finding Meaning

  • Beyoncé is back with her new song “Break My Soul”, and it’s an anthem for Great Resignation.
  • The song is about quitting your job and finding new motivation, something many have been doing in the past year.
  • It also cements the Great Resignation as part of today’s popular culture.

Beyoncé has officially signed on to leave her job.

Their newest single, “Break My Soul,” was billed as an anthem for Great Resignation – and marks a cultural turning point.

The musical icon – who samples rapper Big Freedia – sings: “I just quit my job / I’m gonna find a new unit / Damn they work me so hard / I work at nine / After five.” Work makes her nervous – and “that’s why I can’t sleep at night”.

Like the millions of Americans who left their jobs at near-record levels for a year, Beyoncé isn’t completely abandoning the concept of work. Instead, she’s “looking for motivation” and a “new foundation” – something that has certainly propelled many of America’s dropouts into different roles as they realize life is too short to work at a job they’re not passionate about.

Nick Bunker, economist at employment website Indeed, told CNBC’s Greg Iacurci that “Break My Soul” marks “an example of a broader public awareness or discussion about people leaving their jobs, which reflects what is happening. in the labor market and in society. “

But the Beyoncé effect goes beyond just amplifying an existing trend.

“She’s a cultural icon, so everyone’s got their eyes on her,” Terri Lyne Carrington, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, and a drummer who previously supported Destiny’s Child, told Insider.

“What I appreciate about her is that she uses her platform responsibly; not every well-known artist or commercial with such a large platform does this. It really affects the younger generation.

Beyoncé can create what Carrington calls a “ripple effect,” especially among younger generations – who are also driving the Great Layoff. Music can have a powerful impact and help people come together as a community, Carrington said, and “has always been a tool for justice.”

A Beyoncé endorsement could be more than just a coy reference in a new song of the summer. When the star released the single “Formation” in 2016, which also came after a hiatus from the singer, she mentioned the Red Lobster network. After that mention came a 33% increase in sales, according to CNN, and Red Lobster spokeswoman Erica Ettori told the channel that Red Lobster was trending on Twitter — a first for the network.

Of course, it’s easier to go buy some cookies than it is to simply quit and quit your job (although today’s job market makes quitting a lot easier than it has in recent years).

“I know people are saying that Beyoncé told me to quit my job. I’m not sure that’s necessarily her intention, because I don’t think she wants people to go hungry either,” Carrington said. As inflation continues to drive prices higher and higher, it is especially difficult to be out of work right now – even Americans with jobs are seeing their wage gains being eaten up by inflation.

“PSA: When Beyoncé sings “I quit my job,” she’s referring to the transition from job to job, not that she’s stopped working,” said economist Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. tweeted.

And Beyoncé isn’t quitting her job — she’s making music, after all — and she’s certainly a far cry from the low-wage workers who have been fueling the Great Layoff. Forbes has her net worth at $450 million, and the extra $10 million she added to her fortune from 2021 to 2022 likely took a good bite out of inflation.

But the song itself is “tapping into” the pandemic realization by American workers that “things can collapse quickly,” Carrington said, and the importance of living a fulfilling life and contributing to the greater good.

“I think it really speaks to the moment and speaks to the fact that people are tired of being treated unfairly, underpaid, underappreciated, all that stuff,” she said. “If we could all feel like we’re really creating value with our work, I think that’s the big picture.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: