Prince Harry Is All for Quitting Your Job for Mental Health Reasons

He’s not implying we should all quit our jobs, FYI.

Prince Harry attends the adam tower project introduction and global partnership between bookingcom, skyscanner, ctrip, tripadvisor and visa in amsterdam
(Image credit: Getty/KOEN VAN WEEL)

Prince Harry has been a mental health advocate for years now, which is why his new day job makes a lot of sense for him now that he’s now longer a working royal.

Since March, the Duke of Sussex has served as the Chief Impact Officer for San Francisco-based tech startup BetterUp, which aims to improve “mental fitness” in the workforce through coaching and other services.

In a new interview with Fast Company about his role, the duke was asked how he’s addressing the COVID-bourne issues of burnout and job resignations. In a statement that is now being twisted out of shape all over the internet, the duke said, “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. In fact, it is a sign that with self-awareness comes the need for change. 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.”

A lot of criticism has been aimed at the royal for seemingly implying that jobs don’t matter and that everyone should just quit—which, if it was what he was saying, would obviously be unacceptable given his extreme privilege and the breadth of income inequalities in the U.S. and across the globe.

With that in mind, what the duke is actually doing here is simply celebrating the decisions people have already made for themselves—that quitting their job was the right thing to do to protect their own mental health, having weighed up the pros and cons of doing so. He’s simply celebrating people who felt empowered to quit their jobs, not saying that everyone should follow suit.

The interviewer, Yasmin Gagne, tweeted, “In 2017 I quit a job that destroyed my mental health. It's one of the best decisions I ever made. I spoke to Prince Harry about his work as Chief Impact Officer at @BetterUp and why quitting is sometimes the right thing to do.”

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.