So you've got a job, and it pays the bills. You're not so concerned about being the best or getting promoted. You're just biding your time, giving the position just enough energy and attention to get by and keep it. Well, sis, this is a form of quiet quitting. The term has made its rounds across the Internet, from TikTok to YouTube, to Reddit, to Lipstick Alley. But what exactly is it? How do you quit "quietly," and why is this something people are talking about?
With many becoming a part of that post-pandemic shift from the hustle mentality to the soft life movement, quiet quitting can be part of that journey.
What exactly is quiet quitting?
No, quiet quitting is not just never showing up at your job ever again, with no notice. And it has nothing to do with ghosting your company or shooting your manager a quick but politely written resignation email. It involves reducing your enthusiasm for doing your work and offering the bare minimum in terms of effort in completing tasks. It's not exactly slacking because you're fulfilling the duties your job requires, but there's no going above and beyond to be exemplary, innovative, or helpful other than doing the job you're paid to do and going home.
You've mentally checked out and just don't want to put in any extra effort toward thriving in your position or at your company.
Why do people quietly quit?
The Great Resignation has led professionals to leave their jobs in record numbers during the aftermath of the pandemic, seeking more work-life balance, following their career dreams, and making more time for family and leisure, and those who might want to join that wave but can't for various reasons, are turning to quiet quitting. Researchers have found that the desire to quit or basically check out from even wanting to work for a company includes a "toxic" work culture as well as "failure to promote diversity," and "abusive managers."
Oftentimes, because of financial reasons, a quiet quitter won't actually leave their job. They simply can't just get up and walk out because they haven't yet found a better opportunity. They might also be pursuing a certain goal such as purchasing a home, financing a child's education, or supporting elders. They're building up their savings, using a job as a stepping stone, or simply aren't in a position to hit send on that resignation email.
Professionals have also expressed feelings of burnout, dissatisfaction or simply wanting to do other things, and they want to mentally focus on efforts to transition into a new job or lifestyle, so quiet quitting is also something they turn to in order to fill the gap while they're doing so.
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There's another side to quiet quitting as well: protest. Some professionals quietly quit because they don't feel valued and they want someone to know just how much value they actually do bring to the table. They withhold their best and no longer put in the additional work. It's like being in a lackluster relationship and refusing to do certain things you did at the beginning when your spouse seemed to cherish you. Instead of breaking up, you hold back, whether it's no longer sending those mid-day "I love you" texts, making homecooked meals, bringing them coffee in bed in the morning, or leaving little gifts around the house for no reason at all. In the case of a job, maybe you don't help that team member with the research for the next presentation, you're not coming in early, or you're literally clocking out at 4:59 p.m.
It may be a sign you need to actually...well, quit.
If you're finding yourself resenting your boss or job, coasting by with hardly any motivation, interacting with team members, clients, or customers with little to no enthusiasm, or finding ways out of even going to work, you might not want to quietly quit. It may be time to find another job or reevaluate what you want out of a career. The longer you stay at a job or in a position that's not advancing your intellect, skills, and life experience, the more disservice you're doing to your own mental well-being and career future.
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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images