Popular Layoff Videos Reveal a Radical Shift in Workplace Culture

(NationalUSNews.com) — In the 2020s, it seems like there is nothing that is so personal or private that someone wouldn’t want to broadcast it online. A new social media trend is sharing the details of your job termination online. For some, it is just sharing screenshots of emails or pictures of severance package papers. Others make TikTok cry in their cars, and a video of a woman being fired over a video call went viral.

Some people have heralded this as an overall positive change in work culture. They believe that the stigma and shame over being fired have been reduced so much that workers feel supported and empowered by sharing the details, as well as their anger, sadness, and frustration on social media. Many of these employees work at home, which some feel makes the terminations more painful as they are alone rather than among their colleagues who may be in the same boat.

Brittany Pietsch, the young woman whose TikTok termination from Cloudflare has been shared over 12,000 times, says she does not regret sharing the video. She believes that showing how her termination was handled, without her direct manager and no explanation as to why her performance was found lacking, will cause companies to be held accountable for the way they fire people in the future. She may be right, as the CEO of mortgage company Better.com, Vishal Garg, issued a public apology on social media platform X after public backlash, saying that while the layoffs at his company in 2021 were not a mistake, they should have been kinder and more humane in the execution.

Pietsch says that she has already been contacted by companies interested in hiring her, but some online commenters have expressed worry that for many, sharing this sort of contact online will make their job prospects more complicated. Some have said the videos are undignified and unprofessional, while others say that the entire concept of professionalism is outdated and oppressive. As Pietsch’s new job prospects indicate, the videos may help some, but some people say employers may hesitate to hire people who they see as eager to expose their company’s inner workings.

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