The Great Resignation: Burned-out Teachers Share Their “#quitmyjob” Stories On TikTok

A TikTok subculture devoted to stories of people leaving their jobs behind has garnered hundreds of millions of views as the US sees a mass exodus of employees. 

Teachers are exhausted. According to a recent study by the National Education Association, 90% of members report feeling burnt out as a serious problem. The COVID-19 pandemic increased workloads and exposed underlying systemic issues in the educational sector, leading teachers to consider leaving their profession at record rates.

As “The Great Resignation” continues, TikTokers have been creating content known as “QuitToks,” with a notable increase in these videos appearing to come during the recent autumn and winter months. They feature people preparing for and handing in their resignation as it happens, or recounting the story retroactively. 

Many of these TikToks include the tags #quitmyjob and #iquitmyjob.

Various individual TikToks about people’s resignation experiences have gone viral over the past couple of months, with many racking up millions of views. 


I’ve been thinking about leaving teaching for a year now. Sometimes doors just open… #teachertok #teacherquits #teacherquitting #thegreatresignation

♬ Twilight – Spencer Hunt

In one TikTok posted in November with over 11 million views, @xounique appears to quit her job via an expletive-filled tannoy announcement. In another, @alikainwanderlust shares her experience of quitting her job, selling all her possessions, and living in Bali with 2.1 million viewers. 

Users @laathewmaanen and @maddielovespotatoes also shared viral TikToks within days of each other where they both said they quit their teaching jobs, citing reasons like “burnout” and issues within the education sector as a whole.

Ex-employees are posting about quitting their jobs on other social media platforms too. On Twitter, multiple tweets have gone viral as people quit their jobs to follow a new career, improve their mental health, travel, or start their own business. 

The subreddit r/antiwork, which has over a million members, has also become a hub for people to talk about leaving their jobs. In its description, r/antiwork describes itself as a forum for those who want to “end work,” users who want support for work-related struggles, and “want to get the most out of a work-free life”

While the forum has existed since 2013, data shows that 500,000 people — about half the total number of users — joined in October 2021. 

One of the most common types of posts comes from users telling the stories of how they purportedly quit their own jobs: these posts often also appear to include screenshots of conversations these workers had with their managers. 




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