國際時事跟讀 Ep.K659: China's Youth Embrace the "Great Resignation" Trend
- Chinese youth are increasingly leaving their corporate jobs in search of more meaningful and fulfilling lives, mirroring the global "Great Resignation" trend.
- The education system's expansion has led to a significant gap between the skills of Chinese workers and the jobs available to them.
- China faces potential long-term challenges due to a shrinking workforce caused by declining birth rates and an aging population, which may be exacerbated by the resignation trend.
In China's Zhejiang province, a peculiar trend is emerging as young people celebrate quitting their jobs with elaborate resignation parties. Liang, a 27-year-old former banker, recently experienced one such celebration. Friends adorned him with flowers under a banner that boldly declared, "We're done with this bullsh*t job!" These resignation parties feature traditional elements like gongs, drums, lanterns, and "double happiness" signs, reminiscent of wedding ceremonies. Liang's decision to leave a stable, well-paying job may seem perplexing, given China's uncertain economic climate and record-high youth unemployment. However, he's not alone in seeking a happier, more fulfilling life beyond corporate drudgery.
Liang's dissatisfaction with his former job stemmed from the monotony and stifled creativity he encountered in the bank's public relations department. He felt that innovative ideas went unappreciated and eventually disappeared. This sentiment resonates with many young Chinese workers who have embarked on similar journeys. The internet is abuzz with stories of individuals who have experienced a significant boost in happiness after quitting their jobs.
Social media platforms in China are flooded with posts about resignation parties, with most participants in their twenties citing various reasons for leaving, including low wages and burnout. According to Maimai, China's equivalent of LinkedIn, 28% of the surveyed employees across various sectors resigned in 2022, with double that number intending to do so. While a similar "Great Resignation" movement occurred in the United States, the trend appears to be just beginning in China.
The root cause of this disillusionment among young Chinese workers can be traced back to their childhoods, characterized by intense academic competition and the relentless pursuit of corporate success. The one-child policy and high parental expectations have placed immense pressure on this generation. They believed that their sacrifices would lead to financial success, only to face the harsh reality of stagnating salaries and high unemployment rates.
Furthermore, there is a significant mismatch between the education levels of many Chinese workers and the jobs available to them. The education system in China has expanded rapidly, leading to a surplus of highly educated individuals in jobs that don't require advanced skills. This discrepancy has contributed to low job satisfaction among workers.
As China grapples with these challenges, it faces a long-term issue – a shrinking workforce due to declining birth rates. This demographic shift poses economic problems, as a smaller working-age population will need to support a growing elderly population. The "Great Resignation" trend could potentially impact fertility rates, further exacerbating the country's demographic issues.
The rise of resignation parties and the "Great Resignation" trend among China's youth is a reflection of their desire for more meaningful and fulfilling lives. It highlights the challenges posed by a competitive education system, job market mismatch, and demographic shifts. While it remains to be seen how this trend will evolve, it underscores the need for structural changes in China's workforce and education system to address the growing discontent among its youth.
Keyword Drills 關鍵字：
- Disillusionment (Dis-il-lu-sion-ment): The root cause of this disillusionment among young Chinese workers can be traced back to their childhoods.
- Resignation (Re-sig-na-tion): In China's Zhejiang province, a peculiar trend is emerging as young people celebrate quitting their jobs with elaborate resignation parties.
- Monotony (Mo-not-o-ny): Liang's dissatisfaction with his former job stemmed from the monotony and stifled creativity he encountered in the bank's public relations department.
- Demographic (De-mo-graph-ic): This demographic shift poses economic problems, as a smaller working-age population will need to support a growing elderly population.
- Fertility (Fer-til-i-ty): The "Great Resignation" trend could potentially impact fertility rates, further exacerbating the country's demographic issues.
Reference article: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/05/economy/china-youth-resignation-parties-intl-hnk/index.html