The latest job trend ‘quiet quitting’ is a mindset shift that sees you not outright quitting your job, but instead, quitting the idea of going above and beyond in it.
“You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life — the reality is, it’s not and your worth as a person is not defined by your labour,” explains TikTokker @zkchillin in a viral clip introducing the trend.
It’s been described as consciously choosing to avoid working beyond the tasks outlined on your job description, and doing the bare minimum to stay employed, explains Sally McKibbin, Career Coach at job listing site Indeed.
“But quiet quitting doesn’t need to be negative, and it doesn’t mean that workers who ‘quiet quit’ are slacking off,” McKibbin says. “It’s simply learning when and where to put healthy boundaries in place to create a sustainable and fulfilled life outside of your professional obligations.”
McKibbin attributes the trend to the after-effects of the pandemic, which left many workers overwhelmed and burnt out, prompting them to reflect on how they want their lives to look and feel — both in and outside of the workplace.
“If you’re in a demanding role where work regularly takes over your home life and you aren’t receiving the recognition or pay you deserve, but don’t want to quit your job, you might consider quiet quitting by developing stronger boundaries at work,” says McKibbin.
Convinced and wanting to try it? Ahead, McKibbin shares four other things to keep in mind if you are.
Put Boundaries in Place
Essentially, quiet quitting is putting boundaries in place. To give you an idea of some boundaries you can adopt, McKibbin suggests these, as a starting point:
- “Saying no to extra tasks outside of your job description,
- Logging off at 5pm and leaving unfinished tasks to the following day, rather than working after-hours,
- Avoiding answering calls and emails from your boss or clients after-hours,
- Turning your email notifications off outside of work,
- Not answering emails or phone calls if you’re sick or on leave,
- Using your email signature to clearly state your working hours.”
Always Be Professional
If you’re considering quiet quitting, it’s important you always remain professional and continue to fulfill your duties in line with your job description, says McKibbin. She adds that it’s also important to recognise that setting boundaries and being professional at work are not mutually exclusive.
“Instead of overworking and putting yourself on the fast track to burnout, find a healthy balance that allows you to perform your role to a high standard without compromising your mental or physical wellbeing,” she says.
“That’s not to say you must constantly feel pressured to go above and beyond or work until you’re burnt out. But meeting standards and delivering on agreed tasks is not just best practice — it’s also a condition of your employment.”
If an employee is suddenly no longer performing their duties or is behaving unprofessionally at work, they may be putting their employment at risk, she says.
By Wary of Negative Consequences
Also important to keep in mind? Quiet quitting could have some possible negative consequences. In other words, be mindful that it could actually backfire on you.
“There’s always the chance that, to some employers, quiet quitting may be viewed as disengagement, withdrawal, laziness or an absence of work ethic,” says McKibbin. “If this is the case, employees may be at risk of being pulled up by their manager, demoted, or potentially even let go.”
Consider That You Might Need a Job Change
Finally, if you’ve already tried quiet quitting, or even if you haven’t but have found your role to be seriously affecting your mental health and sense of work-life balance, it might be worth looking at making a more drastic change.
“If you’ve tried quiet quitting but you’re feeling stressed, unhappy or unmotivated at work, it could be a sign that you’re in need of a job change,” McKibbin says.