It’s Time to Quit Quiet Quitting
How to either re-engage with your job, or find work that’s a better fit.
David had been checked out at his job for a while. But as the months wore on, he found that disengagement didn’t give him any more free time for the things that mattered to him, and he just felt more unhappy at work than before.
Quiet quitting dominated the news cycle for months over the summer. Google Trends shows that the term started to appear in July 2022, then worldwide searches increased exponentially in August. Something was clearly resonating with workers and their employers. Some articles encouraged employees to embrace the practice and do the minimum required of them by their job description. But quiet quitting — defined as true disengagement with work, doing only what it takes not to get fired — isn’t a new concept. And it isn’t sustainable.
We all have periods where there’s so much going on outside of work that we can barely keep our heads above water. And many people have experienced being trapped in a toxic workplace, or working for a terrible boss. But quiet quitting isn’t the solution. And with the changing economy, people are starting to think about becoming indispensable at work again.
If you’ve been checked out, here are our tips for getting your head and heart back in the game — or actually quitting and finding a new job you can engage in.
Recognize it’s not good for you or the company.
Quiet quitting is bad for your mental health. “As humans, we’re wired to give our best, be invested, and get a sense of pride out of producing good work,” says Rasha Accad, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance. We’re also wired to feel a sense of affinity with our colleagues. If you lose that sense of connection, your morale will naturally be low and your attitude will rub off on the people around you.
Think of your team as a boat, where the disengaged person is rowing in the opposite direction from everyone else. This never goes unnoticed. If you’re quiet quitting, not only does your own performance suffer, but your coworkers likely feel a sense of resentment and passive anger that will build to a breaking point. Every person on a team has a social responsibility not to spread toxicity to everyone else.
Understand what got you to this place.
Unless something really dramatic happened that you can point to, likely a number of events accumulated that pushed you mentally away. Career experts say that it’s important to trace the steps back to really understand your unmet need or needs regarding your manager, colleagues, leadership, compensation, company culture, the type of work you do, the way work is done, etc.
Reach out for help.
Once you recognize the negative impact of your disengagement on your daily life and morale, taking the first steps to change will give you an immediate boost. And remember that you’re not in this alone; many other people want you to succeed. Assess who would be the best person to confide in and ask for nonjudgmental advice and support: a career coach, a trusted colleague, a mentor, your boss, a therapist? “When preparing for the meeting, bring the facts to the table aboubring the facts to the table about the reasons for your quiet quitting and how it has impacted you, your productivity, and the team,” Accad says. “And come with some potential solutions to propose.”
Make an action plan.
Following the meetings that you have with your trusted advisors, come up with a short-term and a long-term plan to remedy the situation. The short-term plan may involve making peace with your less-than-ideal present, and the long-term plan may involve looking for a new job. There are situations where the company, role, or manager are just not a good fit with what you’re looking for in your career, and nothing you can do can change that. Put a clear timeline in place for all actions you commit to.
In addition, career experts say to enrich your personal life as part of your action plan. Fill your weekends with activities that allow you to disconnect and forget about work, or pick up a hobby. hobbies you have abandoned for some time. This will positively affect your work life and overall wellbeing.