According to a new theory from TikToker Samantha Shea, a person’s response to the simple statement “I just quit my job” can be a glaring indicator of their age. So let’s unpack why each generation might respond so differently.
The tensions between Boomers and Zoomers are constantly being pushed as the junior generation becomes more expressive, and grows a louder and more defined cultural identity.
Naturally that identity is cultivated through a subversion of the generations that came before, which down the line can result in massive variations between the age groups’ answers to simple phrases such as: “I just quit my job.”
Shea took to TikTok to share with her 60K followers her observation of how people over the age of 40 and in their 20’s respond differently to news of someone resigning.
@samxshea i just love #that ♬ original sound – Samantha Shea
“Every time I tell someone who is over — I don’t know — forty, that I left my job, they’re like: ‘Oh my god! What are you gonna do? Like, you don’t have a job lined up? Like, aren’t you nervous? Don’t you have to pay rent? Bl-bl-blah-blah-blah,’” commented Shea while applying her makeup in a video.
Shea really spilt the tea with this one. She’s so right, go off queen.
Telling old people (yeah, over 40 is old, go complain to The Australian about it) that you’ve quit your job can be quite anxiety inducing.
Some commenters to Shea’s video agreed, and hypothesised that this is due to how the questioning from the older generation is only focused on the problems of the future.
However, according to Shea the younger generations have a completely different response.
“And then whenever I tell someone that is — like, I don’t know — in their 20’s or early 30’s, they’re like: ‘Slay queen. Congratulations, let’s go celebrate. You’re the best, you’re the bomb, you’re an icon.’”
Okay, sure that is literally me. But why?
As a generalisation, someone quitting a job is usually something that they have done for their own reasons in order to improve their current situation.
Sometimes they quit because they have another job lined up. Or in less fortunate cases it’s because the one they had was actively harmful to them. In both situations leaving is usually representative of a step forward, albeit a scary one.
According to Shea’s observation, when people in their “20’s or early 30′” find out someone has left their job they tend to recognise that this decision has (generally) come from a place of seeking improvement, and support that person in the change.
But it’s not a case of “young people are more empathetic than old people”. We aren’t adding oxygen to the flames of generational war here.
The sentiment coming from the older generations is just as caring — even if it might not feel that way — as the questions of concern they raise all essentially come from wanting the resignee to have safety in their future.
Rather than a recognition of the difficulty behind, the 40+ crowd recognises the difficulty ahead.
However in her video which now has 73K views, Shea does highlight that she prefers the younger generation’s awareness of leaving something bad behind, as well as wanting to celebrate, saying: “I just love that. I just love that!”
Leaving a job can be a great cause of anxiety, particular if one is unsure of their future, but perhaps neither of these responses are superior to the other.
Each recognises difficulty at one stage, past or future, but life is hard at all times, and when it is all we really want/need is people to be there for us.
Next time your friend tells you they quit their job, respond however you want, regardless of age. Just make sure they know and feel that you care.