What Is Quiet Quitting All About?

If you have been online on any platform in the last couple of months, you have probably heard of quiet quitting.

But you might not be sure on what exactly quiet quitting entails. Is it doing the bare minimum or just setting boundaries at work? Let us explore. 

The Game of Achieve and Advance 

If your parents are baby boomers, then they might have thought that you need to go above and beyond in order to get a promotion and a raise at work.They might have taught you that the formula for success is work hard, do good work, get results, move up. And that thinking might have gotten you to a point where you are overworked, exhausted, and unappreciated.

As you climb higher, you will discover that it gets worse. You see that the path is in fact a competition – fewer opportunities, less real estate, more restrictions. So, when high achievers look up, they think they need to work harder, to do more. Not true.

Don’t get me wrong, when someone is passionate about what they do, they might want to do more because they enjoy it. However, if you take on everything and brag about needing at least 3 people to replace you, then you may be going in the wrong direction. Because that would actually mean that you are overworked and underpaid. 

Strong Work/Personal Life Boundaries 

When someone has a clear goal in mind and works to achieve it, that is very different from someone overworking themselves, just because they do not know how to set boundaries at work, or are afraid of confrontation. 

As a professional, you need to have strong boundaries, and that means: 

  • Working a certain amount of hours (that you are comfortable with)
  • Not taking on duties that are not in your scope of work
  • Being able to say NO to you manager/boss
  • Explaining your current tasks, once given another one on top
  • Asking your manager to prioritize for you when you can not do everything that day/week
  • Not agreeing to a task if you have some personal arrangements on that afternoon (child performing a play at school)
  • Not investing your own money into supplies for your job
  • Working hard when you are at work, and resting when you are not at work
  • Resting when you are sick
  • Taking care of your mental health
  • Taking some time off every year (at least 20 days of vacation)

When someone already has strong work/personal life boundaries, there is no such thing as quiet quitting, only working and quitting. So how did we come up with this term?

Quiet Quitting vs. Quiet Firing 

Quiet quitting started trending once a school teacher shared how she stopped working more than 40 hours per week, and using her own money for supplies. That means she simply put some boundaries to her employer.

That does not mean she is doing the bare minimum. That does not mean she is slacking off. That means she is doing what she is PAID to do, and not more. 

So if you are worried about quiet quitting as an employer, you need to ask yourself why? Are you overworking your employees or underpaying them? Quiet quitting is nothing to worry about when it comes to responsible business owners/managers. 

However, quiet firing is a worrisome tactic that some companies use.

Quiet firing means that a company is gradually pushing a certain employee to quit by making it impossible for them to feel comfortable at work. Whether that means cutting needed budgets, adding impossible assignments, or making KPIs so high that the employee can not possibly achieve them. Companies do this so they wouldn’t have to pay severance and other fees related to firing. Especially when it comes to senior workers. This is a practice that has no place in 2022. 

Taking charge of your life and career is the key to success  

Your employer is not at fault if you are overworking yourself until exhaustion.

Burning yourself out is always your responsibility. You need to take control of your life and your career. If you do not like the company you are working for, you need to find another job. If you do not like how they are treating you, and you still want to work at a certain company, have an honest conversation with your direct manager.

If your manager and the company appreciate you, they might change their ways and accommodate your needs and boundaries.

In 2022, professionals are quitting more than ever. We will no longer stand for bad treatment and poor salaries. Take ownership for yourself and find something that is a perfect match for you. Let go of any limiting beliefs you might have, and realize that there are no limits to what you can achieve. 

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About the Author

Anastazija Gavrilovic is an Ivy Exec Senior Career Advisor who has worked with more than 2,000 clients ranging from entry level to the C-Suite across various industries. She helps clients learn how to embark on their job search in the most effective way. In addition to giving resume critique and career advice, Anastazija also provides business consulting services.