Quiet quitting is a philosophy about doing the bare minimum at your job. It’s a change in mindset; a change in engagement. In fact, it’s basic definition goes against my #PACE process, however I understand why it is happening. There are misconceptions about it – that it shows laziness – but the truth is you start to quiet quit, or engage less when you realize there’s an inability to thrive in the role you’re in or in the organization you work. You start to quiet quit as a result of not setting boundaries from the beginning and getting sucked into the “hustle culture”. You start to quiet quit when you realize there’s a lack of work-life balance.
Companies are trying to pin this “revolution” on Gen-Z, however it can also be seen as something that has been a long time coming. A lot of companies do not care to focus on the employee experience, bosses and department heads do not communicate or direct employees towards their ultimate purpose (there’s nothing worse than having a job and not knowing why you do what you do as a result of failed leadership), and companies do not invest enough in management and leadership effectiveness. Additionally, many employees struggle with a lack of work flexibility, they feel as though they are not heard or understood, employees feel disconnected, and they feel as though the companies that they work tirelessly for do not care about their wellbeing.
I could very easily sit here and tell you all to “suck it up and deal,” but it’s not going away. Quiet quitting is something we are seeing everywhere. Also, being surrounded by peers who are quiet quitting can be contagious.
What can I do rather than quiet quit?
If you find yourself considering quiet quitting, consider taking the following actions to ensure your decision is the best one for your career:
- Talk to your manager about where you stand with your current role. Let them know what your challenges are. Remember, you may need to be delicate regarding leadership ineffectiveness. Be honest and open, but mindful of your manager’s authority.
- If you do not feel like you can talk to your manager, or leadership, contact Human Resources. They can take the time to research what is going on within the company or department, and work with leadership to improve employee engagement.
- Figure out where you want to grow within the company and let leadership know. If you show leadership you are advocating about your future and are invested in the company, they may be able to pivot and help you grow to where you want to be.
- Talk to your career coach/mentor. They may be able to provide insight into your career that you’re unable to see because you’re so “in it”.
- Research your company’s benefits. Are you considering quiet quitting because you’re feeling burned out? Use your PTO.
If quiet quitting is your next move…
Start your job search. Do not stay stagnant in your current role for too long. Look for new roles while you are at your current position to set yourself up for a smooth transition. Remember the #PACE process: Prepare, Apply, Commit, and Evaluate, when it comes to your approach.
Get your resume and cover letter perfect, optimize your LinkedIn profile, apply to the jobs you are passionate about, amp up your networking, practice your interviewing, and follow up after interviews. You can land the job of your dreams as long as you commit to it!
To be clear, quiet quitting is not burnout. Burnout is the psychological reaction to unmanaged or unmanageable workplace stress. Burnout is an involuntary response – whereas quiet quitting is voluntary. You can look at quiet quitting as a way to prevent burnout, as it’s taking proactive measures to create a healthy mental distance between yourself, your work, and toxic leadership and colleagues.
Make sure you take a smart approach to your career. Quiet quitting should not be a long-term solution to your career problems. Find a role or company you are passionate about.