Quitting with Style: Why it pays to Follow Passion

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Old antique sign on doorway that says gone for good We’ve all heard about Marina Shifrin by now, right? The 25-year-old producer who “danced” her resignation letter?

For those unfamiliar, here’s some quick background info:

Shifrin was a producer (assuming for the past two years) for at Taiwan-based Next Media Animation. Last month, she created a video of herself dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone” while telling her employer, like the song, she was quitting.

The video, now with more than 15 million views on YouTube, went viral, spreading Shifrin’s name across the media landscape.

In the hilarious video, Shifrin uses sub-text to explain exactly why she’ll be “gone.” She explains:

I work for an awesome company that produces news videos.

For almost two years I’ve sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job.

And my boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets.

Now, Shifrin has received a couple job offers, even one from actress, singer and now TV show host Queen Latifah. This girl went from making a video in Taiwan to sitting next to Queen Latifah with the opportunity to work for her. Umm, that’s kind of a big deal.

Shifrin followed her passion, and as we can all clearly see, it certainly looks like it’s paying off for her.

In the video, she said her boss only cared about the number of videos the company made and how many views each video receives. Shifrin obviously was unhappy with this, and like her, many other millennials can relate.

Speaking from experience, and as a fellow millennial, it’s very disappointing to step into a position with high hopes that the company you work for has the same passion(s) as you. We are the generation of “change” and (most) seek to actually complete meaningful work that makes a difference in the world. It’s disconcerting for a millennial when he/she joins a company that, when it comes down to it, is more concerned with making a profit than a difference.

Shifrin said for almost two years she’d sacrificed relationships, time and energy for that company. How many millennials can relate? We work hard, often very long hours (and weekends) for little money and/or benefits and most often neglect friends and family because we’re trying “to prove ourselves” at work in order to “come up.” I have friends who are journalists who’ve moved to small, country towns where they don’t know anyone; where they work 12-15 hour days covering news; and their salary is barely livable but they’re working hard to move up in the field. Like Shifrin (and many others who aren’t millennials), they’re sacrificing time, energy and their personal lives for the greater good of a company. When a worker “gives” that much of his/herself to a business, it’s most often because he/she believes in the company. Again, it ends up being very disheartening to discover down the line that the company truly doesn’t have the same goals, morals and values as you.

And the sad part is, even knowing this, a lot of workers will still stay in a position they’re unhappy with. Whether it be because of finances, the current economic times, or just plain old fear, many people don’t make the choice to follow their passion(s).

You may be thinking that Shifrin is the exception to the rule, and that most people who quit their jobs so publicly and “uniquely” don’t end up on talk shows. Very true, yet this doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t pay to follow your heart and true desires.

Who knows what’s ahead for Shifrin; perhaps she’ll finally find a role where the company is committed to content versus quality, as she desires. The same could be true for anyone currently in a role where he/she knows the company doesn’t have the same goals, vision, etc. as the worker. You never know what new opportunity awaits you, one that may put you much closer to your end goal than you realize.

My former supervisor once said, “If you’re not having fun, get out of it. Life is too short.” I agree. Life is way too short to be “stuck” in an unfit role. Choose to follow your passion, who knows, like Shifrin, you may just end up surprised by what you discover.

By Shala Marks