A New Way to Quit Your Job

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Hate your job but not ready to quit in person? Across Asia companies are helping disenfranchised employees cut ties with their employers.

You’ve no doubt heard of quiet quitting (it’s also called lying flat or Tang Ping in Hong Kong), when stressed-out staff realise they’ve had enough and just do the bare minimum to secure their paycheck. While it may sound like just the latest in a long line of buzzwords, the phenomenon is all too real, with a 2022 Gallup poll finding that quiet quitters make up at least 50 per cent of the US workforce.

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The trend isn’t limited to the West: a report by Cigna International found that 97 per cent of 18-34-year-olds surveyed in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore report being burned out.

Hate your job but dread quitting? Across Asia companies are helping disenfranchised employees cut ties with their employers.

For some, quiet quitting doesn’t go far enough and they want to disentangle themselves entirely from their place of work. Whether you’re keen to jack it in to go travelling, set up your own business or have received a better offer, there are plenty of reasons why we might want to leave a company.

However, the thought of squaring up to your demon boss to negotiate a notice period, or discuss severance pay and your distinct lack of progress on that big presentation can all serve as put-offs. Even if you’re brave enough to face the music, some firms may simply refuse to accept a letter of resignation.

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Those keen to quit but don’t want to face explaining their departure themselves, might not have to; in Japan and Korea, there are now firms that will quit your job for you. In Tokyo, where death from overwork, or karoshi, is a part of the office culture, a firm called Exit charges US$450 so employees can avoid confrontation and tiresome rituals like handing out gifts to co-workers on their last day.

After telling bosses they’ve lost a worker, Exit acts as a go-between, relaying basic requests between company and ex-employee without the employee going through the ritualistic guilt-trip – although Exit won’t negotiate anything more complicated.

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In Seoul, restless staff are seeking the help of labour law firm ByeBye to leave their job. The company offers a consultation with the firm’s lawyer, delivery of the letter of resignation to the client’s company, and the collection of whatever the client is due to receive upon resignation for the very reasonable sum of US$76.

Hate your job but dread quitting? Across Asia companies are helping disenfranchised employees cut ties with their employers.

As for who’s using these services, it’s mainly disgruntled employees in their 20s and 30s, many of whom struggle with confrontation. If a situation has escalated at work and you’re no longer getting through to the high ups, we can certainly see the appeal of such a service.

Not sure whether you’re ready to hand your notice in? Read this article from Indeed that reveals the 15 warning signs it might be time to quit.

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About Author

Contributing editor to Alpha Men Asia and Jetsetter magazine, Helen Dalley loves profiling trendsetters – be that a new chef or a gallery owner – and writing about up-and-coming destinations. Now based in the UK after 12 years in Hong Kong, her favourite destinations include Norway’s Lofoten islands, the small towns dotted along the Italian Rivieria and Yosemite National Park. She has written for the South China Morning Post, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Business Traveller Asia Pacific, CNN Travel and several inflight magazine titles, including Discovery, Silver Kris and Silk Road.

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