Stock markets are plummeting, inflation is soaring -- but fear not, dear friends: Beyoncé drops a new album in July. The first single, "Break My Soul", is out, and is doing what Beyoncé singles do -- topping the charts.
Have a look at the lyrics to this one though:
I just quit my job
I’m gonna find new drive
Damn, they work me so damn hard
Work by nine
Then off past five
And they work my nerves
That’s why I cannot sleep at night
I’m lookin’ for motivation
I’m lookin’ for a new foundation, yeah
And I’m on that new vibration
I’m buildin’ my own foundation, yeah
Within 24 hours of the song's release, the search query “how to resign” jumped by 350% and “great resignation” skyrocketed by 1,550%. Quick, somebody call the labor economists!
Look, the point isn't to suggest Beyoncé is actually driving more resignations, or that we should look to her lyrics for career advice. It is worth noting though that someone with tremendous cultural power has struck a nerve, and tapped into the zeitgeist again -- as great artists do.
And rather than advice, we see it as another indictment of the work status quo. Another sign of how widespread the dissatisfaction with it has become. And a wakeup call.
On the theme of narratives -- and dissatisfaction with work -- it's worth noting that some of the biggest retail brands in the world, Amazon and Starbucks, both have growing union movements in their employee ranks right now. This past week, employees at one of the retail outlets of another decently well-known firm, Apple, voted to unionize themselves, too.
A handful of votes does not a sea change make, but it feels like underreported story, and something worth keeping an eye on, since the pandemic timing -- and the motivation at play, of wanting work to be better -- are as core to the trends we follow as any.
Marc Andreesen is a venture capitalist, and his firm -- its tentacles woven as they are into academia and cutting-edge technology -- gives him a nice window into how talent is flowing across sectors.
What does he see from that perch right now? He sees the "best and brightest" streaming into one of three evolving fields: artificial intelligence, biotech, and crypto.
From a career standpoint, choosing a growing industry -- joining it early on, and allowing your experience and relationships in it to compound -- is far from shabby advice.
So, if you do heed Beyoncé's call, and join the ranks of the Greatly Resigned? It might be worth at least considering AI, biotech, or crypto as industries to bet on.