Quiet Quitting – Setting Boundaries or Slacking?

With "quiet quitting" making global rounds, are young professionals setting boundaries or glorifying slacking?

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Quiet Quitting
Photo Credits - Firmbee via Unsplash

If you have been on social media in the last week or so, especially TikTok, the term “quiet quitting” would not be alien to you. Despite first impressions of the term, it has nothing to do with sneakily quitting your job (like that’s even possible!). So what exactly is “quiet quitting” and why is it causing such a global stir? Let’s dive deeper into this. 

What is Quiet Quitting?

This new term developed by Gen Z professionals essentially means bare minimum working. Okay, “bare minimum” might be too strong a term—more like working just enough to justify how much you might be paid. 

This came about ever since remote working took over the world and people found themselves from working 9-5 to working 24×7. Working from home may have been an ideal life when it first started, but soon the realisation that their work never really ends has taken a mental and physical toll on many. 

The solution? Quietly quitting the additional responsibilities expected of you. The idea is to still work the hours expected and do the tasks within that time frame but not work any additional hours—Gone are the days when emails at 9 pm would be responded to at 9:01 pm.

The real task is to determine whether this behaviour is healthy and a great way to set boundaries; Or is the new generation just not willing to put in the extra effort like many before them?

Taking Control of Your Work

The pandemic was cruel to many, as people were either losing their jobs or not getting hired at all. But the ones who did have a steady role were faced with a major increase in their responsibilities. 

In addition, dealing with technology at home, chores, and family life also contributed to an overall burnout. In fact, a 2022 workplace report claimed that people in the UK were not enthusiastic about work since the pandemic. 

But the truth is, this is not new. That burnt-out feeling has been prevalent with every one of varying ages through the years. The only difference is that now the younger generation is starting to take control of their work rather than letting their work control them. On the topic of quiet quitting, many young professionals have taken a step back to do what is imperative to their role but nothing more. They have become stricter with their timings, availability and what tasks/opportunities they choose to take, which aren’t part of their job. 

On the face of it, it is a great way to achieve the balance that has been lacking ever since the pandemic. But, how practical is it when you want to progress in your career?

Career Advancement vs Quiet Quitting 

Seeing that quiet quitting requires you to do the bare minimum, advancing professionally seems like a far-fetched dream. And in that regard, this global phenomenon seems to have met a wave of mixed feelings. While many professionals see this as a way of setting boundaries and not doing more than they are paid for; some see it as being okay with mediocrity.

“Do your best” is a piece of advice we are all familiar with, but is that possible with people taking a backseat and quietly quitting? The number 1 way to advance in work and see greater success has always been by seeking out more opportunities. The problem that lies with quiet quitting is that it is seen as a means of having more control over one’s professional life, which might often be misguided. 

By doing just the bare minimum, and not taking on additional responsibility, there is a chance of putting your career at risk. Because, at the end of the day even if you don’t, there will always be someone willing to go above and beyond. 

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