Updated: Jan 25
After the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting is the latest career trend circulating on social media.
What is Quiet Quitting? Is it Real?
Quiet quitting refers to doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. As such, it is a misnomer since the worker doesn’t leave their position and continues to collect a salary.
The trend is real, going by studies and surveys. A September 2022 Gallup survey revealed that at least half of American workers are doing the minimum to meet their job description. The same study mentions that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees in the country is the lowest in a decade.
The implications of quiet quitting vary, depending on who you ask. While some acknowledge the need to strike a healthy work-life balance — and consider quiet- quitting a way of ensuring your job won’t take over the rest of your life, others believe it to be lazy, disloyal, and potentially indicative of an overall downward spiral— beyond career. Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, wrote in a viral LinkedIn post, “quiet quitting isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step towards quitting on life.”
Why is Quiet Quitting not a Solution for You?
Slacking off at work can cause rifts between employees as some are left to compensate for others. This, in turn, fuels a toxic workplace culture that could further exacerbate employee dissatisfaction.
Additionally, staying in a miserable job and putting in the bare minimum could mean giving up the prospect of moving to a better, more fulfilling career.
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However, most concerning for quiet quitters is the prospect of being fired. While the great resignation led to there being more jobs relative to experienced workers, a looming recession has changed the calculus in employers’ favour.
A new survey by consulting firm PwC found that half of the respondents in the US were planning to reduce their headcount, including bemouths like Apple, Peloton and Walmart. In turn, a July report from Joblist found that 60 per cent of job seekers feel more urgency to find a job now before economic conditions deteriorate.
This means that employers have the upper hand over employees, and in this climate, quiet quitters, or those doing the bare minimum, could be the first to go.
In the medium to long run, quiet quitting will be more inimical for your career rather than outright resignation.
So, how can you maintain a middle ground between being a workaholic and just going through the motions?
The 5 Strategies to Maintain Balance in Your Life
You need a personal life for the sake of your mental health. Otherwise, you’re at risk for burnout and becoming overwhelmed if you were to be laid off. In fact, some studies have found that working too much is one of the biggest life regrets.
Apply these five strategies to maintain a work-life balance:
1. Set boundaries
It’s up to you how much you want to integrate your personal and professional activities or keep them separate. Find an arrangement that allows you to lead a happy and meaningful life.
2. Limit your hours
Excessive overtime interferes with your well- being, as well as your performance. Create a reasonable schedule. Stick to your quitting time, even when you work from home.
3. Build relationships
Connecting with colleagues makes work more fun and satisfying. Engage in small talk and socialize outside the office.
4. Take regular vacations
Enjoy your time off from work. Visit exciting places and spend time with family and friends. Give yourself some downtime the rest of the year too. Go out for lunch and schedule breaks between tasks.
5. Practice self-care
Investing in yourself makes you more resilient. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Manage stress constructively on and off the job.
6 Strategies to Protect Your Career amid Recession and Layoffs
What you do for a living can have a significant impact on the quality of your life. Be proactive about making choices that align with your values and help you to reach your goals.
Use these six strategies to protect, and enhance, your career:
1. Communicate directly
Many experts regard poor management and remote work as two primary reasons behind Quiet Quitting. Talk face-to-face as much as possible. Have weekly one-on-one sessions with your boss.
2. Clarify expectations
Understand your boss’ priorities and how your performance will be measured. Ask for feedback and put things in writing.
3. Show concern
Let your colleagues know that you care about their well-being. Be friendly and helpful. Listen attentively. Praise them for their talents and accomplishments. Earn their trust by doing your fair share of the work and holding yourself accountable.
4. Connect with the mission of your employer
Figure out how your role relates to the overall purpose of your organization. If you disagree with your company’s values, consider if you are willing to make accommodations or would prefer to move on.
5. Continue learning
Keep your skills up to date and give yourself challenges that motivate you. Take courses online and read books about your industry. Join committees and volunteer for interesting projects.
6. Be Rational
There’s already some talk about quiet firing as a passive-aggressive way to pressure difficult employees to leave. Unfortunately, that lowers morale and could leave you without a paycheck.
If you are quiet quitting, the first thing is to ask yourself if you are in the right job. If not, it will be better to change your job or even build a new career path than quiet quitting, and risk being fired from your job without a financial backup.
Tip: Confused about what type of jobs you will excel at? Take the Free ‘Are You in The Right Career Assessment’ to uncover the answers to a successful career change.
Quiet Quitting: The Last Word
Concerns about Quiet Quitting may turn out to be exaggerated, but the questions it raises are real. You spend about one-third of your life at work, so you need to make that time as pleasant as possible. If you can’t resign from your job, pursue your passions outside work.
Tip: Not Sure what Job is the right one for you?
Take the Free ‘Are You in The Right Career Assessment’ to identify whether you are in the right job and discover what type of jobs you will excel at. The results of this test will guide you toward a successful career change.
If you are unhappy in your job, quitting for real to forge a new career path will be a better bet than quiet quitting.
Smita D Jain is a Certified Personal Empowerment Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs enable busy professionals unhappy in their jobs find time to transform their passions into pursuits so that they work because they want to, not because they have to. Prior to her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a speaker at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author. You can learn more about Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs by visiting www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com and book your complimentary strategy session at https://www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com/booking.