Do we have a trend of high engagement in the talent sector?

FIRE — the counter-movement to Great Resignation and Silent Quitting?

Recent trends in the talent sector have not been great for employers.

During the Great Resignation, many people quit or changed jobs, even during the height of the pandemic. A very unusual development at a time of crisis. The trend of Silent Quitting means that people keep their jobs, but they only do them with minimum effort. More work is not accepted. The implementation of the exact employment contract is taken as a guideline.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

With FIRE, a new trend is emerging in the talent labour market. FIRE, meaning Financial Independence Retire Early, aims for the highest commitment to meet retirement goals.

What does this mean for your organisation?


This trend is not anecdotal, unlike some movements in the age of social media. The scientific research paper demonstrates the objective of this movement. Professors wrote it at Trinity University. It was published in the American Association of Individual Investors Journal. The research is still known today as the Trinity Study. Regarding the data basis, those who acted with a capital withdrawal of no more than 4% of the available capital per year were examined. Moreover, it was taken into account that only those persons who experienced a 0% capital shortage during their retirement phase were included in the study. This aspect is undoubtedly a very solid approach. It is not new, by the way. The research paper was already published in 1998. This fact shows again how important it is for organisations to keep up-to-date with the current scientific situation.

The Goal of Work-Optional-Life

The trend is by no means only about showing as much commitment as possible to then leave working life. It has been proven that work is an important social factor. Not only are friendships and relationships often formed through contacts at work. Work offers structure and support and can, increasingly importantly, answer the personal question of meaning, the question of purpose.

Thus, unlike the trends already mentioned, there is not only one way of realising the FIRE principle. In the FatFIRE approach, the goal is a lifestyle of over 100,000 dollars per year. In exact contrast is the minimalist approach of LeanFIRE, which aims for under $40,000 per year in capital requirements. With CoastFIRE, an approach that does not aim at further interest gains after the start of capital withdrawal finds starts. Uncertainties in the investment sector, in particular, are thus taken into account. With BaritaFIRE, the work continues, but with less stress and before it is no longer the focus of all life planning in the first place. The term barista was taken as a symbol of a relaxed life remains undefined (if you have never worked as a barista: the job is far from being stress-free). You can see here that there are many different motivational situations (more on motivational positions in this week’s podcast — see link below).

Your task

As an organisation, especially today, many organisations still have too much regional focus. With job offers online on a global level, you have to ask yourself whether your offer is competitive enough. How do you compare in terms of salary? Which unique benefits do you offer? Do you or your managers know your employees’ motivations? Excuses concerning circumstances that you cannot influence are neither acceptable nor appropriate here. Especially with new generations entering the job market, you have to face the fact that people with global perspectives, excellent technical knowledge and less loyalty to the employer are working for you. There is currently no tendency for this to change. Unfortunately, it can be seen that approaches continue to be too little, too particular, and too uncoordinated in the overall offer of the organisations. It is long overdue for your organisation to address the situation that only a structured, coordinated offer accompanied by excellent leadership in the international talent competition will be promising and successful.

More on the topic of new trends in the talent market in this week’s podcast: Apple Podcast / Spotify.

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Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt


Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.