WIRED - "‘The Great Resignation’ Misses the Point"
"But perhaps what’s most notable about the name the Great Resignation is that its main substance—resignations—may be the least consequential thing about the moment that it’s come to represent. The real takeaway is why people are leaving their jobs in the first place—rampant stress, the shift to remote work, a forced reckoning with what matters in light of the pandemic—and what resigning is leading them to do next. Taken on its surface, the Great Resignation foregrounds the language of job status, but misses a parallel, arguably bigger story: the radical realignment of values that is fueling people to confront and remake their relationship to life at home, with their families, with their friends, and in their lives outside of labor.
“In many ways, this is really a mental health conversation,” Klotz says, acknowledging the limits of the terminology. Though burnout is now more widely recognized, it’s another thing to deeply grapple with its consequences at work and across all sectors of life. There’s also the issue of workers feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace, another reckoning feeding into the large scale shift. For some employees, this is a time to interrogate what their work environment asks of them in order to perform a job. Even more expansively, perhaps, this is a moment to question the workplace status quo altogether. In the face of abject loss and society-level trauma, how does work bring meaning to our lives? How would we begin to build a different relationship to it? These questions are bigger than the workplace itself, and answering them would require us to expand the conversation to include family, friends, government, spiritual life, and personal reflection. Of course, these discussions can happen regardless of what we call this moment, but in referring to this era as the Great Resignation, we are collectively deemphasizing the issues that matter most."