Beyoncé Just Told Me To Quit My Job And I Might Listen
I am exhausted.
June 24, 2022 at 1:13 pm
I am exhausted. I’m not sure when I reached the level of adulthood where my career would deplete my energy reserve more than my personal life, but this isn’t what I signed up for. Is this what any of us have signed up for? Like many folks, I am in a never-ending cycle of wanting to resign while taking my place in the great resignation movement, as 4.3 million people did last December.
Out of that lump sum number, one in five people said it was “very or somewhat difficult” to find new employment. To be even more transparent, that’s where my real frustration lies. Trying to find new positions where the application process doesn’t require one to jump through a multitude of hurdles as if my mother named me Simone Biles. The unrealistic projects to test my skill set, the lack of follow-up and the insistence that I go through three or more rounds of interviews before facing rejection are why I jumped for joy when my imaginary big sister Beyoncé belted, “I just quit my job” on “Break My Soul.”
Art imitating life
It’s been six years since Queen Bey graced the world with her last solo project, Lemonade, and I couldn’t be happier. Of course, I’m delighted to witness Bey’s new era of world domination, but if “Break My Soul” is a glimpse of what we can expect from this next body of work, baby, she can take my coins now. I appreciate that this song is more than an empowering anthem.
It’s a declaration of truth that speaks to the reality of many of us who harbor the negative energy that comes with simply trying to survive. Mrs. Carter encouraging us to release this energy through her soulful croons over house music feels like a cultural reset. Not the kind of reset that makes you want to get up and get to the money, but the kind that makes you want to stop and rest.
People are tired
Beyoncé saw that it was the summer of late-millennial burnout, the labor movement, ‘90s revival, and queer pride and was like, “Yeah, I can make a song about that”
— Puja Patel (@senari) June 21, 2022
Simply put, people are tired. Capitalism, the not-so-distant relative of white supremacy, has created this system in which many of us are expected to trade in our souls to meet baseless metrics and other deliverables that keep CEOs afloat in the millionaire tax bracket. A system that rewards strenuous labor with a hearty dose of burnout and fatigue is dangerous.
Are you noticing that more and more of your Black friends are divulging the immense stress they’re facing at work? You should know that isn’t a coincidence, as 41% of Black people have admitted to feeling burnt out and exhausted while in the workplace. This grind culture that promotes the idolization of a booked and busy lifestyle is killing us, whether people want to admit it.
Abolish grind culture
Grind culture really has some people in a chokehold. It’s ok to rest, it’s ok to sleep in, it’s ok to take time and do nothing. Not every waking hour has to be filled with productivity
— j✨ (@jalauriak) June 18, 2022
I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but your health, mental and physical, is far more critical than any of your professional obligations. Time and time again, we see young, talented Black professionals extending their brilliance to save their companies, only for them to get chewed out and dismally regarded. Many of us would likely prefer to take some time to recover from these instances, but we aren’t given the grace to put aside financial obligations.
Usually, we’re held to these impractical standards by celebrities, elitists and white people who motivate us to grind it out to get through these obstacles, but that isn’t enough. One can’t simply outwork themselves to the tax bracket of a millionaire without displacing other folks who are usually working-class (at minimum) and of color. Mentalities like this weirdly assume that poverty results from personal setbacks as opposed to societal ones. It’s one of the reasons why I’m all for Beyoncé using her platform to inspire a collective f*** that job movement if it isn’t giving you what you need.
You're the asset and never forget it
Kwame Ture speaking on capitalism and why Black people can’t be for it. pic.twitter.com/Kj6jFCMYyV
— TheAngrySociologist (@SankofaBrown) May 29, 2020
We all face imposter syndrome more than we’d like, but I’m here to tell you that you’re the prize. You’ve probably heard that sentiment from your homies or parents when going through a breakup, but it also applies to your career. These companies literally would not be able to run without your expertise and knowledge, and they should be treating you with the utmost respect. If not? Well, you heard what Queen Bey said: release that job, pronto.