Smetto Quando Voglio by Paolo Iacci. Webinar HR Talks

smetto quando voglio

On May 31, 2024 MCS hosted the online event HR Talks for the presentation of the book Smetto Quando Voglio (I'll Quit Whenever I Want) by Paolo Iacci, a lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Milan, President of Eca Italia, and National President of AIDP Promotion (Association for Human Resource Management).
The aim was to discuss the evolving dynamics of the labor market, exploring current phenomena and trends, and proposing strategies that institutions and companies should adopt to face these new challenges.


  1. Why the title Smetto Quando Voglio
  2. What is Quiet Quitting
  3. The solutions in Smetto Quando Voglio

Why Smetto Quando Voglio

Paolo Iacci's new book offers a broad and detailed view of the complex dynamics that influence the contemporary labor market, providing a solid foundation for understanding the challenges and opportunities characterizing this evolving context.

The first question posed to the author was to explain the choice of the provocative and misleading title. The author stated:

“In the words 'Smetto Quando Voglio' (I'll Quit Whenever I Want), lies my initial thesis: in today's post-pandemic, globalized, and digitalized labor market, the relationship between individuals and companies has radically changed. It has shifted from mutual reliance to mutual utility. If an individual does not share values with the company, does not feel valued, cannot find a proper work-life balance, and lacks opportunities for personal and professional growth, they will quit at the first opportunity and leave the job in search of new possibilities. But if the opportunity does not arise, the globally recognized phenomenon of quiet quitting occurs, motivated by a lack of work meaning.”

What Quiet Quitting Means

Phenomena like Quiet Quitting, the Great Resignation, and the Great Reshuffle are responses to Job Burnout, a consequence of the post-pandemic Global Social Burnout. According to Paolo Iacci:

“Today, we find ourselves in a situation where people no longer have hope for the future: they live in a context of uncertainty, loneliness, and distrust towards everything and everyone, in an extremely pervasive and extended present.”

It is no coincidence that the 2022 word of the year, coined by the Collins Dictionary, is Permacrisis, “a long period of instability and insecurity resulting from a series of catastrophic events.”

During the discussion, beyond the phenomena related to the changing psychological contract between individuals and organizations, we also analyzed other global trends:

  • Expats and International Remote Working

Currently, there are specialized consulting structures, such as Talentor International, Talentor International, that manage the administrative aspects of these trends, like the contractual implications related to applicable legislation and the guarantee of social security contributions. The author of "Smetto Quando Voglio" adds:

“The phenomenon is increasing, and it requires global attention to study the best organizational, fiscal, legal, and social security arrangements to apply, perhaps with a WTO on the labor front, while waiting for politics to decide to intervene, perhaps on a global level.”

  • Who Are the NEETs

The term NEET (Not [engaged] in Education, Employment, or Training) refers to young people not engaged in work or educational pathways. Paolo Iacci describes them as follows:

“They are young people who see no future nor find tools to react, risking to move from economic and occupational deprivation to affective or existential deprivation.”

In Italy, the employment situation is taking on paradoxical characteristics: the highest percentage of NEETs in Europe contrasts with the exodus of young people abroad (with an increasing number of digital natives leaving the country often before completing their university studies).

  • Unemployment and Mismatch

In Europe, the unemployment rate is around 6%. But the author of the book adds:

“Every year, hundreds of job requests go unfulfilled due to the difficulty of finding skilled, matched, and eager-to-learn workers.”

Smetto Quando Voglio: Solutions

So, what are the solutions? Paolo Iacci has no doubts: Lifelong Learning and Sustainability.

“At the center of management action is no longer the worker, a role, but the identity of the person in their entirety. The focus is no longer solely on skills but also on areas of improvement, including vulnerabilities. A mature, current, and aware management of its role must be able to combine the logic of profit with the need to satisfy the needs and legitimate aspirations of people. Companies must not be caught unprepared, especially given the current difficulty in attracting and retaining talent.”

He adds:

“Sustainable companies (not only environmentally) spend less to attract and retain talent.”

Thanks to the contributions and interest shown by all participants at the HR Talks event, the dialogue continued for about 90 minutes, highlighting successful HR policies to address the new phenomena of the contemporary labor market. Engagement, shared values, corporate communication policies aimed at feedback or surveys, improving the corporate and team work climate, and the possibility of professional development for employees must be priorities for organizations.

“The competitive advantage of an organization is often the ability to learn faster. This also applies to people.”

And to prove this, prompted by a question posed by AI, Iacci candidly states:

“Although I wrote my thesis with an old typewriter, I am currently following a training course on the use of AI.”