Her timing may be a little off when more than 700,000 federal workers have been furloughed because of the government shutdown, but Marina Shifrin’s video announcing she quit her job, posted Saturday on YouTube, has gone viral with more than 5.7 million views. (WARNING: Video contains some strong language.)
Dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone,” Shifrin announced, “For two years, I’ve sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job.” The graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism (my alma mater) goes on to complain that her boss cares about quantity over quality.
In a related blog post, “Journalism is Dead (to me),” she explains further:
“I’ve figured it out. For the past 6 years I’ve been a writer trapped in journalist’s body. I went to the big name journalism school and got the straight As. Upon graduation I said to myself, ‘Self, you need to get rid of your Freshman 15, you’re three years out of Freshman year and it is not becoming on you. Also, do you want to be a journalist or a writer?’”
Reaction is mixed — even my own, to be honest. Our family has gone through layoffs due to the offshoring of jobs and corporate mergers. What a luxury to quit a job just because you don’t like it. A friend told me once, when I was complaining: “That’s why it’s called ‘work.’ It’s not always fun.”
But I also feel a certain empathy. I left a well-paying job as a senior editor in publishing years ago to work as a freelance writer and journalist so I could live where I wanted and try to find some sort of balance between career and life (working 80 hours a week wasn’t leaving time for much else).
Shifrin admits she wants to be a writer, not a journalist. Her Twitter profile describes her as a “struggling comic/babysitter/novelist” and frankly, her resignation video may jumpstart her into a new career.
As she tweeted, “I’ve officially made it.” There’s already a parody video out there of a work-at-home mom.