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Quiet Quitting: Should You Quiet Quit Your Job?

Overview

Quiet Quitting: Should You Quiet Quit Your Job?

Let’s talk about quiet quitting. Don’t feel like reading? Listen here!

Workers who claim to be “quiet quitting” make up 50% of the U.S. workforce, based on research conducted by the Gallup group. That number, according to Gallup, the analytics and advisory company known for conducting polls and researching workplace trends, is probably actually higher.

 

No matter the number, American workers are fed up, rejecting the hustle culture and the old-school theory that you need to be the first one “in the office” and the last one to leave to be successful. At the same time, personal success is being measured in different ways—work-life balance is important, and what one does for work and who one works for does not define them as it did for the baby boomer generation. 

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting has a lot of definitions but can be quickly explained: quiet quitting is remaining in one’s workplace while not actively going above and beyond.

Others say it’s more about pursuing work-life balance, happiness, and achieving success in other areas of life. For these workers, work is something they do, it’s not who they are, and it’s not their main priority in life.  

And that should be perfectly acceptable, says Leanna Serras, Chief Customer Officer at FragranceX. She explains:

quiet quitting at work

There is nothing wrong with employees deciding that they’re not willing to sacrifice their lives for their company, and their only desire is to fulfill their job obligations. This is a good way to ensure a healthy work-life balance which in turn reduces the risk of burnout, improves employee well-being, and enhances productivity.

Employers who expect employees to go beyond their job requirements for no additional compensation are creating a potentially toxic work environment leading to stress, low morale, and absenteeism.

Sophie Wade was first told about quiet quitting in the spring of 2022 when talking to a 24-year-old daughter of a friend. 

Wade, a work futurist, international keynote speaker, author, and authority on Future-of-Work issues, was asking for insights from the young woman and her peers about what millennials and Generation Z workers were looking for in the workplace and what a positive culture or work environment was for them. 

The young woman told Wade that some of her friends and those in her extended network were deliberately non-engaging at work because they did not feel included, valued, or supported. They had adopted the attitude that if (the employer) doesn’t care about them (the employee), why should they care about the company? She went on to explain these people were fulfilling job requirements but not going above and beyond. 

quiet quit

There are several reasons for this, shifting priorities by different generations and work-life balance among them. Another reason is compensation. Or lack of appropriate compensation.  

 

“The balance of compensation between employer and employee has been lacking on the employee side for many years, particularly in the US,” says Wade. “A job used to comprise a bundle that included job security (most importantly), a (meaningful) pension, benefits, and retirement at the end. Many of these elements of the job bundle – especially job security, have all but disappeared without any increase/change in compensation for the employee.”  

Is Quietly Quiet Quitting Acceptable?

Employers push career development, stretch goals, continuous learning, training, and development. All those are needed to develop and learn new skills in one’s industry, but employers sometimes don’t realize that not every employee wants to be a manager or move up the corporate ladder. 

 

Some workers simply want to do their job. They tire of hearing they need to attend seminars, go through training, take classes, or focus on continued education—much of which does not apply to their daily job requirements—to be successful in their role, especially when day in and day out they successfully complete the tasks of their job.

And that should be perfectly acceptable in some cases. 

Is that quiet quitting?

Probably not—but it fits into the realm of doing what is asked to do the job without going above and beyond. This holds for any professional seeking advancement, or not. 

quiet quitting job

“There is no obligation to go above and beyond what you are paid to do at work,” says Wade. “It is an employee’s choice how they allocate their energies across their personal and professional activities and whether they have very full personal lives—which could be looking after several kids or spending time and energy on a major hobby or simply spending time with friends.” 


What’s more, it is important not to make assumptions about why someone might appear to have quietly quit their job. There could well be a personal reason that the person doesn’t want to talk about or a situation that they are trying to deal with and get over (such as a death in the family), which means they can’t or don’t want to engage in their work, says Wade.

Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie is a resume expert and freelance writer whose work has been published in over 200 newspapers, websites, and magazines. He has 15+ years of experience writing resumes for clients of all backgrounds, from college grad, to entry-level to mid-career, executive and more. Matt lives in Minnesota.

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