Marina Shifrin & How Millennials Say, ‘I Quit!’
a viral video and the mentality of millennials at work
Marina Shifrin made quite the statement when she professed her ‘I quit’ message to her boss via a YouTube video on September 28th. Now boasting over 12 million views (as of right now when I’m writing this—it literally increases by the minute), Marina’s mentality far exceeds her own job and personal departure; it represents a generational mindset that is slowly seeping into the workforce—subsequently it also provided a new approach to an age-old task of how to give your resignation.
There are a few key points in Marina’s declaration of independence from her place of employment, all of them worth further exploration:
1. There’s something to be said for work-life balance—especially in this age of always being “on.” In Marina’s video, she writes:
If a job isn’t striking the right work-balance for you, and that's important to you, then you should consider a job change. But, since the release of Marina’s video, her coworkers have released their own video to counteract her detrimental blow to their employer brand. What she found to be sacrificial to her personal life, they find perfectly acceptable.
In their video, the employees of Next Media Animation show off a rooftop pool, but the point Marina was trying to make went far beyond facilities. She was emphasizing that her boss wants speed, quantity and views, not quality and creativity—leaving her feeling exhausted and ultimately undervalued.
Which leads me to my next point—the impact a boss has on an employee’s overall experience at a company is huge. Just a few doors down someone can be having the time of their life at their job, while you’re suffering and feeling inadequate. Evaluate and determine what’s best for you and try not to let one person ruin what might be a great career path for you.
2. 20 somethings (myself included) need to embrace the work around them. Millennials have a very different mindset around the work they do and the value they bring to a company when compared to other generations in the workforce. Namely, we’re eager, multi-taskers and we think we bring an exponential value-add to everything we do. Which may or may not be true. We’re deep thinkers and consumers of a lot of quick, easily accessible information. This does not, however, mean that we get to do whatever we want, especially at work.
Everyone has to put their time in before they’re the boss. Embrace your position and its responsibilities, or lack thereof. There’s persistence and then there’s overzealous. Find the right balance and try to stick with it.
A still very young Jason Nazar, who himself is only 34, wrote a Forbes article around 20 somethings in the workplace, 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get that I think lends itself nicely to this topic.
3. Quitting dos and don’ts. Lastly, I’d just like to provide a quick tip list of dos and don’ts when and if you go to give your two weeks’ notice—which yes, is still the standard in professional etiquette.
You could try a video, but just know that all of these things we post online will live here forever. I’m curious when Marina will find her next career opportunity when an employer knows full well that she’ll put them on blast for pushing her too far.
- Tip: I’d try a less profound approach and if you have a message to leave behind, write it down and privately send it to the applicable parties. This won’t get you millions of views on YouTube though, so decide what you want your last words to be. As long as you’re making the mark you want, then your approach is a success in my book.
CareerBuilder offers 5 Tips for Quitting With Class, and while I’d like to think of myself as a classy gal, I’d also like to emphasize the importance of leaving in style.
- Tip: There’s value in the old saying, “don’t burn a bridge.” Marina blew up the Next Media Animation bridge she had built and I wouldn’t recommend it for the everyday employee. Leave graciously and in such a way that you can utilize some of your resources for referral purposes later on.
In their Dos & Don’ts of Quitting Your Job article, AskMen.com provided advice on “how to quit like a man." Here's what they said:
- Tip: “The way you quit is just as crucial as why you quit.” Do not act on impulse. Be objective. And, it’s always good to stick by this quote: “Don’t make a permanent decision on temporary feelings.”
Good luck Marina in your job search! I think there’s a lot to be learned from your video and its message.
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