Just like the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting is nothing new. It FEELS new though. It became a viral alliteration in July of this year after @zaidleppelin on TikTok made this video.
But wait, that’s not entirely true. It was ACTUALLY made popular by a Tweet from March of 2022 from Dr. Justin Carrington.
Hold on. Still not true. China was all about this trend in mid-2021. Except they call it “tang ping” or “lying flat”. It doesn’t have quite the ring to it, but it’s the same idea.
Just kidding. It’s been around forever. Okay, 2009 isn’t forever ago but someone updated Wikipedia to say Mark Boldger coined the term at a Texas A&M economics symposium. We’ll write this with a grain of salt, for now, as a citation is still needed for validity.
Okay, seriously. It has been around forever. Do you remember having to do group class projects? There was always at least one kid destined to go above and beyond. Then there was the kid who did nothing and coasted on the other’s work. Lastly, you’d have a few teammates putting in exactly the amount of time and effort needed to get the job done. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing overtly amazing. Nothing below minimum standards.
That is what quiet quitting is, the few teammates doing the task given and only the task that is given.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Simply put, quiet quitting is placing strict boundaries between work and home life.
It’s refusing to attend an unpaid, mandatory meeting outside of your scheduled work hours.
It’s getting your work done before you clock out for the day, and not taking it home with you.
It’s calling in sick and not being expected to work from home while coughing up a lung.
With the culture the way it is and being available 24/7 via various methods of communication, the boundaries of work have gotten entirely too blurry. Quiet quitting is putting a firm stop to that.
It is NOT being lazy. Any article you read that implies this trend is justification for laziness in the workforce needs to be read with high scrutiny.
Lazy is defined as the unwillingness to work.
A person committed to quiet quitting isn’t unwilling to work, they’re unwilling to work outside their described duties.
Is Quiet Quitting Bad?
The answer to whether quiet quitting is bad is personal. I stumbled upon this thread in Quora and the first two answers go to show just how personal this decision really is.
There is no right or wrong answer here. One thing is for sure, though, it’s a constantly changing landscape. At one point in time, the idea was to outperform, get a promotion, and rise to the top! Now, it’s doing what you must with the time you are given for work, then go live your life.
Maybe, instead of asking ourselves about the inherent good or bad of quiet quitting, we ought to be asking about where our work is in priority and value in our lives.
Or, you might want to ask how much of your identity is tied to your job versus your passion. (Kudos to you if your passion IS your job!)
My advice? Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself wanting to, or already, quiet quitting.
As the TikTok video link above says, “Your worth as a person is not defined by your productive output.”
How Do I Quiet Quit?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can give you a couple of ideas to put you on a path to sustainable work-life balance.
Create Your Boundaries Roadmap
Literally, map out your boundaries. Decide what you are willing to reasonably take on for work and outline how that would make your day look. For some, this is fairly easy. Can you get your responsibilities completed between 9-5? For others, can you get your project completed by deadline with no set hours?
Your employer provided you with a job description upon hire, go back to that list (or request a copy) and figure out what you are doing outside of the list that either a) warrants you a raise, or b) needs to be delegated elsewhere.
Didn’t get a job description? There are plenty of online resources that list job descriptions. Google it.
Is your job description deliberately vague? That’s not a red flag. It only needs to list out the essential functions of the position. Pay close attention to how much of your work is aligned with your essential functions.
Once you’ve clarified for yourself what you are capable and willing to do, set up a meeting with your boss and communicate your expectations. People cannot respect your boundaries if they don’t know what they are.
If you think this is a surefire way to get canned, consider adding “job-hunting” to your to-do list.
Hopefully, a meeting won’t be necessary because you’ll find you haven’t been taken advantage of.
Perfectionism is the Devil
Whoever convinced the world we all need to strive for perfection was a terrible person.
Take a moment to reflect on whether perfectionism is blocking your success as a quiet quitter.
What are the expectations you have set for yourself regarding your work? Are they aligned with those of your colleagues and supervisors? Where have these expectations even come from?
Perfectionism is paralyzing and unproductive. It creates a lot of negative energy in one’s life. This is your permission to tackle it and be okay with doing a good job without striving for perfection.
This is one of my new favorite words.
Aplomb means self-confidence or assurance. It’s a fun way to say know your worth.
You are a whole person before you log in to work for the day. You are a complicated, fascinating being when you clock out and step away for the evening. A good review doesn’t say if you’re a good person. It says you did a good job.
So, remember your worth. Check your aplomb. Celebrate your wins. Recognize your strengths. Strengthen your weaknesses. And don’t forget that working is a small sliver of the bigger picture.
What About Those of Us NOT Quiet Quitting?
This is great! As long as you feel accomplished and productive, and not burnt out, at the end of the day, wonderful!
Keep up the awesome work you’re doing, and I hope you get recognized and move into other positions you are targeting. In fact, I’m here to help you do just that by highlighting your most significant achievements on your resume.
Resume Assassin is a top-rated executive resume writing service with years of experience helping executives (through the C-Level) break into startups through Fortune 500 organizations.
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