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Prince Harry says quitting a joyless job 'something to be celebrated' as people put mental health first

The Duke of Sussex spoke out about how the pandemic sparked a “mental health awakening” among people previously stuck in jobs that didn’t bring them joy.
The Duke Of Sussex Visits Abbey Road Studios
As more people quit jobs, Prince Harry says many are really “putting their mental health and happiness first.”Hannah McKay / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

It’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” the trend that’s seen a record number of workers walk away from their jobs in the wake of the pandemic.

But while employers and consumers may not be cheering about that trend, the Duke of Sussex sees it as a potential cause for celebration.

Because whether people are quitting so that they can move on to a new beginning, launch an early retirement or simply take a break from the rat race, it might also be a sign that they’re prioritizing their mental health.

“While on the surface it looks like these last couple of years brought all these issues to the foreground, the reality is these struggles and issues have been brewing for quite some time,” Prince Harry explained in an interview with Fast Company. “We’re just at the beginning of the mental health awakening.”

The 37-year-old, who now resides in Southern California, has been focused on the subject as part of his work as chief impact officer for the San Francisco-based mental health startup BetterUp. The company offers tools for career coaching, mentorship and more through it’s mobile-based service.

“I’ve actually discovered recently, courtesy of a chat with (BetterUp science board member) Adam Grant, that a lot of the job resignations you mention aren’t all bad,” he said when asked about burnout and quitting. “In fact, it is a sign that with self-awareness comes the need for change.”

The prince added, “Many people around the world have been stuck in jobs that didn’t bring them joy, and now they’re putting their mental health and happiness first. This is something to be celebrated.”

Harry’s position with BetterUp was announced in March, and at the time, he explained what he hoped to accomplish in his role.

"As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversation," he said in a blog post on the company's website. "And my hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence."