what is quiet quitting

Why Quiet Quitting Isn’t Quiet at All – and What to Do Instead

While the ‘Great Resignation’ disrupted the jobs market over the last year, companies experienced the viral Quit-Toks – aka public displays of quitting – and now they’re experiencing a new viral trend: quiet quitting.  

This concept, made popular by TikTok, is defined as employees ‘no longer going above and beyond,’ and instead ‘doing what their job description requires of them and only that.’  

While to some this may sound simply like setting boundaries between professional and personal life, according to a survey of more than 1,000 American professionals in August, 21% of employed respondents admit to doing less than what is required of them at work.  

What is quiet quitting?

‘Quiet quitting’ is called quiet because this reduction in effort is often gradual, not discussed with management and with the hope it will go unnoticed. However, this is not the case. 52% of those who have scaled back say their employer has ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ noticed they’ve been putting in less effort. Unfortunately, this could produce unintentional consequences for their career down the line. 

Especially with an economic downturn predicted, now is not the time to fade into the background or run out the clock. Rather, it’s time to demonstrate value, dig into available resources and set yourself up for success to achieve promotions down the road. Because face it, when this fad fades, employees who partake may be faced with a stalled career.  

If quiet quitting sounds tempting, here’s what to consider:  

First, reflect. 

What’s causing disengagement? Some quiet quitters are feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by the job. Because they can’t handle the workload, they begin to pull back. Others feel unappreciated, lack clarity on goals or don’t understand their potential career progression.  

Before immediately jumping on this trend, professionals should work to pinpoint what sparked the desire to ‘quietly quit’ and consider what changes could help remotivate and reengage the position. It is also possible the role or company isn’t the right fit altogether. If someone lacks passion for the position, work, or mission of the company, it could be a signal it’s time to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if someone is disengaged because they want more time to pursue passions outside of work or spend more time with family or friends, there are still ways to maximize output during work hours and find a balance. In fact, extracurricular pursuits and investing in passions outside of work can even help boost engagement and job satisfaction.  

Consider if there are adjustments that could be made to improve the position, or if an internal transfer could be possible, and discuss it with management. There could be internal roles available that aren’t readily apparent, or adjustments to the role that could make it a better fit.  

Post reflection, talk to management.  

If there has been a pullback, managers have likely noticed. Quiet quitters should bring their reflection notes and discuss the areas of disengagement or confusion, whether it’s a specific task of the role or an unclear picture of what the long-term career growth is. Professionals who enjoy what they do don’t want to pull back – they want to excel, learn more, work with different teams, and tackle new projects. Discussing ways to enjoy the role more and be challenged in different ways can not only increase satisfaction in the job but can ultimately help feel more connected to the team and company.  

Disengaging from the work before proving certain skillsets can result in losing the trust of management and could even derail career progression. So, before jumping on the ‘quite quitting’ train – and especially before posting about doing nothing at home during the workday on social media – professionals should view their career through a long-term lens. By intentionally pulling back, what project are they missing out on, what meeting are they not being pulled into with leadership that can lead to on-the-spot development, what promotion are they being overlooked for? What long-term career development could they be missing out on because leadership sees their disengagement?  

Professionals should take pride in their work and show up daily, ready to prove what they’ve got and how they can help the company achieve. If the day is approached with a bare-minimum mentality, employees can’t be surprised when there isn’t a chair left for them when the music stops playing.   

If in fact it is time for a new position, our team is ready to support you in your job-search journey. Click here to view our open roles and connect with our team today.   

About LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network is a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm with business units that specialize in accounting and finance, administrative, call center, healthcare revenue cycle, human resources, management resources, marketing, sales, supply chain, technology and executive search.

We partner with companies across the country to help find top temporary and direct hire talent and grow their teams.

Our team is here to help you find your next role or find great talent for your team. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


Share the Post: