The TikTok social network has been promoting changes in the world of the job market in the West for several months, with chain resignations, advice to improve salary or encouraging people to consider whether they feel fulfilled with their activity.
There is a trend that particularly illustrates this phenomenon: the trend of recording your own resignation and broadcasting it live on the app. Since 2020, many “tiktokers” have used the feature of broadcasting live videos to record themselves slamming the door to their company.
A movement that was started by the American Shana Blackwell in October 2020. The 19-year-old then announced, by video, that she was resigning from the Walmart store where she worked, and she did so using the supermarket microphone.
“Fuck the managers, fuck the company! I resign, fuck!” He declared after two unbearable years, in which he said he suffered psychological harassment.
Unwittingly, he launched one of the biggest trends on the platform. The videos with the hashtag #QuitMyJob (#LeaveMyWork) today accumulate more than 200 million views.
These videos have a considerable echo in the United States, hit by an unprecedented wave of resignations (called “the Great Resignation”).
This increase in resignations has to do with “a strong imitation effect”, Stéphanie Lukasik, professor and researcher in Information and Communication Sciences at the University of Lorraine, in eastern France, explained to AFP, although calibrating impact accurately is tricky.
“When someone sees people resigning on social networks, they become aware [del fenómeno]. And he wonders: ‘Is my job exciting?'” he explained.
Other similar large movements have been born or have grown on social networks, such as MeToo, Black Lives Matter or more recently the mobilizations against health restrictions, Lukasik said, underlining the “magnifying mirror” effect that the platforms have.
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But, apart from those impressive videos, the topic of work has gained a lot of presence on TikTok, even becoming one of the most popular, with more than 50,000 million views.
“Each month, more than 1 billion users from around the world come together on the platform to create, share and discover short-form videos on topics that matter to them, including social issues,” said Eric Garandeau, Director of institutional and public relations of TikTok for France.
“More and more users and creators exchange and share content related to employment and, in general, with the world of work,” he added.
Stemming from her human resources background, Karine Trioullier (aka Career Kueen) rides that wave, sharing videos on workplace issues with her half a million followers.
“I have seen many people become aware of their professional situation thanks to TikTok, it has seemed incredible to me. It feels very good to see them reflect on the meaning that their work gives to their lives,” the “tiktoker” told AFP
Money also stirs passions on TikTok, where tips for getting a raise abound. “There’s real excitement around the issue of salary negotiation and salaries,” explained “tiktoker” Maryam Kante (aka Mamajob).
But neither is it a matter of getting people to do anything. “Rather, we seek to teach people to know their worth,” commented ‘Mamajob’.
However, TikTok was not intended as a platform to talk about work. Initially, the platform was known for its excerpts of song versions or comedy scenes.
“Therein lies the interest of this type of digital social networks, they offer possibilities, users are free to take ownership of them and adapt their use” as they see fit, analyzed Stéphanie Lukasik.
On the contrary, a network like LinkedIn, designed for workers, does not seem to be as successful among young people. LinkedIn’s way of communicating, with many more texts and much more serious, “no longer corresponds to this generation, the tool does not have a good image”, Karine Trioullier considered.
And, even so, from TikTok they insist: the platform “has no vocation” to specialize in employment.
tkr / ak / pb / jvb / an