I get quiet quitting, if it is part of a concerted effort to change management’s mind, like the unions did when they were in a stronger position. If they felt disrespected or unfairly treated the word would go out that employees should ‘work to rule’ or do the minimum. Productivity would fall and problems would arise where work initiative was no longer a thing, and eventually management would pay attention and a compromise would be reached and back to work everyone went.
If quiet quitting is motivated by a belief that it will change management practices, it will need to be in concert with others. If you go alone, it is only going to drag you down. I have never seen an organization lose more than 1-2 days regretting losing someone in the case of resignation, and for under-performance I am afraid it will only impact the quiet quitter’s reputation, which when references are handed out might impact a future opportunity with another organization.
If you are acting in concert with others, like a union sometimes did, it is essential that you have integrity. What do I mean by integrity in this situation? The issue that you perceive as unfair should be recognized as such by any reasonable person. If your reason is so slight that another wouldn’t take it as insulting, then you are probably not on solid ground. Another reason based in integrity, is if you have brought it to management’s attention unsuccessfully and if its unresolved it will continue to harm productivity and the business; then this is a sound strategy. Lastly, when your grievance is resolved then you should give your job your best effort.
A union needed integrity for management to trust that if they change the union will see to it productivity improves – these were conversations not written agreements.
The other circumstance where quiet quitting makes sense is biding time until you land your next position. It’s almost always easier to land a new position when you are still employed. If none of these circumstances mentioned exist and yet you’ve chosen to quietly quit and do just enough to not get fired, what is this doing to your career?
You may say, I don’t have a career and don’t want one. Well, okay I accept that if you see a career as getting on the materialism treadmill where you are eventually owned by your possessions and your bills. That is not what I mean by a career. By a career I mean a body of work that after 40 years you look back on and are proud of how you conducted yourself and generated enough wealth to meet your needs and live comfortably when you no longer can or choose to work. If that kind of a career is interesting to you, then I would submit that quiet quitting can have two detrimental effects: wasting valuable time because once time slips away it is gone for good and a loss in self-confidence. Self-confidence to a career is the same as for a professional athlete. If they question their ability to win, it directly translates to your performance. Professional athletes believe they can win far longer than fans watching the game. They don’t give up easily, and they rarely bench themselves unless they are hurt. Quiet quitting can get into your head, and it can have you lose valuable time that could have been used to network and land a better opportunity.
What would I recommend if you are faced with a solo effort of quiet quitting or going on to the next thing? Go, but go where you have a better fit between your values and the culture of your new employer. How? By answering these questions through searching online and conversation with others that work for a prospective employer:
1. What matters to you? Is it money, flexibility, paid time off, independent decision making, design, getting things done, helping others, security, recognition, integrity, etc.? I would suggest integrity be on everyone’s list of values. Integrity feeds your self-confidence or worth. If you lead a life of integrity, it generates self-worth – I know I did my best, and I delivered what I said I would, and my reputation has grown because of it. Once you know your top 2-3 values then turn your sights on sizing up the culture.
2. Ask multiple people – how do things get done around here? What values are demonstrated by this answer and how does that square with yours.
3. What examples can they share of promotions from within?
4. Can I learn from the person who would be my manager?
5. Do I see opportunity past the initial position that’s open?
Differentiate yourself through continuous learning and acting with integrity, and the payback will be self-confidence and a track record of generating value and leaving a positive reputation.
If you need help with a better alternative to quiet quitting, check out FlightPath Pro™ software and coaching system. It’s built to help you understand your values and guide you on developing the career path you select. https://careerauthoritypro.com/flightpath/