There was me thinking it was just another ordinary Tuesday today. Perhaps you could say it was significant as 31 March is the last day of the financial year. It might even be pay day for some (not me, I get paid mid-month) but that’s about as exciting as it gets. How wrong I was. This article shared on Twitter this morning informed me that humble 31 March has been declared “International quit your crappy job day”.
I can’t help but admire their optimism. International? There’s no way this is going to catch on. My suspiscion was immediately raised that this was some kind of quasi-polictical backlash against the current Prime Minister’s relentless campaign to get people back into work regardless of the cost. Such a dig at decreasing worklessness, but increasing in-work poverty could have been expertly timed for this, the first official and full day of UK general election campaigning after Parliament closed its doors yesterday. It seems not.
Rather than a well thought out crusade supported by proven statistics, some dubious “case studies” are cited. Leaving your job because you felt insecure and ended up going backpacking is surely a contradiction in terms. And quitting to pursue your “dream job”…well I’ve met some optimistic people in my time but this takes the biscuit, particularly in economically precarious times such as these. Never heard of the career ladder? I’m sure those up there at the top would not cite a quitting mentality as a prerequisite to success.
And just what is a “crappy” job anyway? Besides the point that this is surely not the term to select if you want your anti-work manifesto to be taken seriously. I’m guessing that all jobs have “crappy” days – that’s just the nature of it. I also have in the back of my mind what job I would define as falling into that category. It would be something manual where low paid thankless tasks are required to be repeated over and over again. Hats off to those workers, as I couldn’t do it. Then I immediately think about the possible types of people who undertake those roles. Doubtless the vast majority of them don’t wake up excited to go to work, but they still do it because people rely on them, or they need the money or countless other reasons. These are the kind of people we need in our organisations – not the type who quit because a “day” tells them to. And yes, there surely are people who are being bullied or exploited at work. These people may have the right to call their jobs “crappy” but my message to them would be this – please don’t wait until 31 March to do what you think is right.
In all my years in Human Resources I’ve known no more than a handful of people who quit in this way – without purpose, perhaps out of spite or the heat of the moment. It’s rare. Outside of this, my experience is that the “right people” never quit – as in the people who the organisation would otherwise need to manage out via capability. Those people stick around to get paid doing as little as possible, bad mouthing every move their employer makes. The vast majority of people who “quit” are those who the organisation would rather not let go of, because they’re good. And that’s why they leave – because they’re good, others recognise that in them, and they can get paid more money doing a good job elsewhere.
So “International Quit Your Crappy Job Day”, give me a break. Stop messing about and get back to work.
Thanks to @HR_Gem for inspiring me to right this quick blog 🙂