You have probably seen this sentence in the press or on social networks in recent weeks: “The Quiet Quit”, or the parallel trend in China – “Lying flat” or Tang Ping (躺平). If not, you might assume silent shutdown is some form of ghosting in the workplace, like at home. leave, but down. Rather than giving proper notice, you use your vacation days, then accrued sick days, then . . . don’t show up.
That’s not quite it. Quitting quietly, according to TikToker zkchillin, whose short video about the idea has garnered more than three million views and half a million likes, means getting to work, but not giving it your all.
As the video says – in a quiet, soft and slightly resigned tone: “You don’t quit your job completely, but you give up the idea of going beyond it. You’re still doing your job, but you no longer subscribe to the hustle culture mentality that work should be your life – the reality is that it’s not.
In other words, silent abandonment could be considered a positive trend. As an article by Metro (UK) noted, “It can be saying no to projects that are not part of your job description or that you don’t want to do, quitting work on time or refuse to respond to emails and Slack messages outside of your working hours.
These are helpful ideas for many millennials who, as Business Insider recently reported, “encourage the next generation of employees to avoid overworking themselves.”
This all sounds reasonable, even healthy. After all, the pandemic has made it impossible for many people to quit their jobs. Not doing other people’s work, enjoying your weekends without being tethered to technology, and knowing your limits are all positive actions that can help prevent burnout and promote well-being. Making time for your whole life is part of creating and maintaining a good relationship with your career, for the long term.
On the other hand, what kind of life do you have if you “mail it” to work, month after month? How good will you feel if you do the minimum without passion or excitement in your job, a place where you still spend most of your waking hours, even if you leave at 5 a.m.? Why just spend nearly 75% of your waking hours doing something you don’t like or find meaningless? Staying put and doing less will likely lead to increased frustration, not joy. Pursuing this trend may seem like a way to add value to your life, but it will probably end up feeling like giving up the belief that something better is out there for you.
Still, it is reasonable to consider what is behind the trend and take advantage of it. Here’s how to use the Quiet Moment of Surrender to improve your career and life:
1. Notice if you need to reset the correct limits
A lot of people are feeling burnt out right now for very good reasons. You could be among them. If you genuinely enjoy your work, but not the time and energy you put into it, now is a good time to recalibrate the balance by setting boundaries.
Start by setting clear boundaries for when you will respond to email messages, phone calls, and emails. Some countries, such as Germany, legislate for employees. Don’t wait for your country to follow suit. When parts of your job need to be done outside of normal business hours, give time back during the day to your personal life. For example, if you have a late-night meeting, take time to exercise or take care of other personal tasks between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Limits prevent burnout and ensure you can spend time on other things you love, whether that’s knitting, spending time with your kids, playing competitive football or something else. Making time for your own passions also builds energy and stamina, which you need for a long and rewarding career.
2. Consider Your Goals
Before you quietly quit, take some time to consider whether you really should be doing the opposite, as in, additional commitment. If your goal is to climb the corporate ladder, it may be in your best interest to stay late, put in the extra effort and/or take on additional projects, even if everyone is home, checking Tik Tok. The same is true if you’re in a startup that you want to see succeed and envision yourself as part of the team that makes it happen. You may want to work long hours because you love what you do and feel challenged, or you are a lifelong learner and relish any opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills and ideas. .
Alternatively, if you’re feeling frustrated, it might be because you don’t really want to quit quietly, but rather more help at work to get more of what you want, such as new opportunities, new challenges, or a promotion. While the ability to work remotely has been great for many, it has also hurt some aspects of the job, such as the mentorship, training, and learning opportunities that young people really need. Many of this cohort also feel like they lack camaraderie, as an article by Axios recently noted.
Discuss the opportunities that exist for this type of support with your manager. Don’t wait for your boss to tell you about it. If there are specific areas you want to learn more about, consider job creation – do what you can to make the job you have look more like the job you want. Job creation can mean finding ways to dive into marketing, even if you’re in R&D, or doing business development from your position in communications. Rather than quitting, job creation allows you to expand your capabilities where you are. While encouraging employees to create jobs is a great management skill, again, it’s up to you to talk about it and ask for help.
3. Have fun when you’re at work
Whatever time you spend at work should be as enjoyable and interesting as possible. Having fun with colleagues generates energy and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. Maintaining connections with colleagues and clients makes it easier to get things done and helps you feel more invested in the process and the outcome. Work will never be donuts and ping-pong every day; it is work, after all. But you can make it more enjoyable and it’s definitely worth it.
Start by looking for people you like, or even someone you might like, and try to develop a real friendship. Suggest a walk or a drink after work, which may be possible even if the whole team is working from home all day. Think of your interactions as connections, or as one technical communications manager put it, “I don’t take meetings; I make a friend.
4. If you are miserable at work, make plans to really stop
If the idea of silently quitting — or better yet, shutting down your computer and loudly leaving work — sounds a little too appealing, it may be a sign that it’s time to move on. If your work is soul destroying, look around. The labor market is still full of opportunities. But be sure to go towards something you want, rather than just running away from a situation you don’t like. It’s worth the effort to find – or create – a job that you enjoy, with co-workers you like, that gives you enough time and energy to live your life to the fullest.
All in all, quitting smoking quietly can either be a misnomer or an unhealthy idea in the long run. If that means compartmentalizing and adjusting your work and changing your mindset about your career, that’s not really giving up, but it can be a great approach to help you thrive! On the other hand, if it means completely disengaging and just letting go, you might find that this approach saps, rather than builds, energy and can ultimately be even more frustrating than throwing yourself into it. in your work. Make sure you ask yourself the hard questions about what you really want before you quit.