“Quiet quitting” is not the solution to your career problems

This new trend in the workplace is allegedly a solution to burnout. The drawbacks outweigh the benefits of this one.

The wider internet has recently come to the conclusion that “quiet quitting” is a cure-all for workplace stressors. The solution for exhausted and overworked employees is to abandon the concept of doing your best in the workplace, and instead do the bare minimum of what the job requires. This system claims mental health benefits and a revolution for the greater work industry as a whole, but when I first heard the term, I was skeptical. Over the course of my research, I have determined that quiet quitting is not the path to work-life balance. In actuality, quiet quitting can not only deplete your mental health, but will also fail to improve work environments and can actually damage your career path to a dangerous degree.

Quiet quitting is rarely a wise decision. Its proponents speak to theoretical mental health benefits, however, this only serves as a temporary solution to the stressors that deplete your time and energy. On one hand, it is argued that quiet quitting helps establish boundaries and can improve work-life balance by distancing the employee from their work. On the other hand, the unintended consequences of quiet quitting could become more of an anxiety than the current job someone is unsatisfied with.

First of all, quiet quitting is not ideal for anyone who wants to move up in their place of work. Employers, when looking to promote someone, will not only look for someone who is successfully completing their tasks but also going above and beyond the requirements of their station. This is because if you are promoted, you will have a job that requires more effort from you than your current one does. This means that the employer may want to see if you are capable of working above your station in order to see if you are promotion material. Therefore, individuals who do not go above their hired duties will fail to be promoted and will not receive additional rewards for their work. Not only does quiet quitting impede job advancement, but it can also hinder your ability to keep your job at all.

Take for example marginalized communities of workers who have historically had difficulty getting into their industry. “Unfortunately in corporate America minorities are held to a different standard. We are looked at differently, there is unconscious bias still, and so we have to go above and beyond to be successful.” These are the words of corporate mentorship expert Jha’nee Carter, owner of The HRQueen, whose video on the issue warned minorities about quiet quitting.

The truth is, quiet quitting weakens job security in an already unstable economic era. Many economists already believe we are either going into or are in the midst of another recession. 49 macroeconomists were surveyed by Financial Times in collaboration with the Initiative on Global Markets, and 68% of them were recorded as predicting the next recession happening as early as 2023. This means it may become difficult to find and keep jobs in the near future. Just as the great resignation swept the nation during the prime of the pandemic, the great firing may just as soon be upon the corporate world.

This means quiet quitting could become dangerous for not only younger workers in the industry (as fresh hires are often the first to go when there is cause for layoff), but also for historically marginalized communities in the workforce, such as racially diverse groups, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. People who have had to work hard to land a job should not give in so easily to the allure of quiet quitting. Carter continues this train of thought saying “If we are not meeting those expectations, we are the first on the chopping block.”

Quiet quitting, as we have already seen, can lead to job loss which can also lead to a decline in mental health as a result. The only thing more stressful than having a taxing job is losing it and having to find a new way to keep a roof over your head. Before deciding quiet quitting is the best course of action, speak with your employer or manager and address your concerns. Working yourself to the bone and not being correctly compensated is never ideal, so bring up concerns and boundaries with your boss. It might help you create a better workplace environment not just for yourself, but for your fellow employees. Ask for that promotion or raise first. You shouldn’t sacrifice your time for unfair pay, but we all must be mindful of what’s going on in America and play the game to an extent. Workers who are burnt out may use quiet quitting to cope with a stressful work environment. Still, they may find that this will eventually lead to quitting their job or worse unless employers better address workplace challenges as well as working conditions for their employees.

Post Author: Leslie Graff