[UK] Is ‘quiet quitting’ the answer to burnout?

[UK] Is ‘quiet quitting’ the answer to burnout?
04 Aug 2022

Quiet quitting is the latest employment phenomenon to capture social media's collective imagination but a deeper dive suggests it might not be the miracle cure for burnout that it first appears, Metro.co.uk reports.

TikTokker @zkchillin reportedly defined quiet quitting as a state in which, “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond. You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life – the reality is, it’s not.”

But what does quiet quitting look like in practice? It might be saying no to projects that are not part of your job description or that you simply don’t want to be part of, leaving work on time, or refusing to answer emails and Slack messages outside working hours.

It could be a straightforward mindset shift, something that is not noticeable to anyone around you and yet allows you to feel less mentally and emotionally invested in your job.

This altered approach to working might sound like an attractive option but experts advise proceeding with caution.

“If you are getting to the point in your career where you feel that you’re putting work above everything else  - at the expense of other important parts of your life - it can be incredibly demoralising,” Charlotte Davies - a career expert at LinkedIn - told Metro.co.uk. 

“It’s very likely that you’ll start to retreat from work - ‘quiet quitting’ - in an attempt to bring back some balance.

“Of course, the best piece of advice is to avoid this happening in the first place, but we all know that’s very hard to do, particularly with the pandemic blurring the lines between career and personal lives, which still impacts how we work now.”

Quiet quitting might look like a good way to treat burnout - and the act of deprioritising your job and recognising that you are more than what you do can definitely help to reduce overwhelm - but by the time you’re exploring quiet quitting, it might already be too late.

Burnout can easily creep up on you and once it has taken hold proper mental health support and time off are needed. Quiet quitting might not be enough to help you heal.

Metro.co.uk instead suggests that quiet quitting could be more of a preventative measure. But one that requires you to really be in tune with your mental state and determine that you want to prioritise other parts of your life before the symptoms of excess stress really settle in. Not an easy thing to achieve.

It might also be worth considering whether you’d be better off actually quitting.

Communicate your concerns

Are your issues with this job specifically, or the idea of work as a whole? If it’s the former, perhaps it could be time to consider a job change to a role that you genuinely enjoy. Or maybe there are specific things about your role that you’d like to refine; actively pushing for change could you feel more empowered.

Quiet quitting is a passive act and embracing the trend could risk you feeling even more powerless.

“Quietly quitting is often a sign that it’s time to move on from your role,” Jill Cotton - career trends expert at Glassdoor - told Metro.co.uk. “If you’re reducing your effort to the bare minimum needed to complete tasks, your heart is probably no longer in the job or the company.

“Before deciding to quietly quit, reflect upon what isn’t fulfilling you and your reasons for making this choice; could whatever is causing your frustration be fixed by simply expressing your concerns to your manager?

“Whether your work-life balance isn’t right, the salary isn’t meeting your needs, or there’s no support to get the promotion you want, have a conversation with your manager before deciding to disengage from your role.”

It is also important to consider that by quiet quitting you could be closing yourself off to promotions and pay raises. That might not be a worry for someone actively pursuing other jobs or unconcerned about progression in their current role but make sure that’s the case for you. If part of you is desperate for a promotion, quiet quitting could feel like a bad decision when you’re passed over for something exciting.

“There are risks attached to taking this approach to your career,’ Paul Farrer - founder and chairman of Aspire - said. “Inevitably, your progression within that company will become limited – particularly if your colleagues are going above and beyond to exceed employer expectations.

‘You also run the risk of having little to show to your next employer when interviewing for your next role.”

Temporary strategy

The risks to quiet quitting come if it’s employed as a long-term strategy, with no other actions to address your situation. If you want to stay in this job but reduce stress, you may need to talk to your manager to make changes. If you want to leave this job and start another one, you need to take action to make that happen.

Jill told Metro.co.uk, “Quiet quitting isn’t new. Many of us will have subconsciously practised it after deciding it’s time to move on from our current role or when working the last few weeks of notice.

“A downside is that if you’re putting in the minimum effort there’s little opportunity to learn new skills or broaden your experience. Your experience could stagnate while your peers move on, making it tricky to find another job.

“Future hiring managers may also question your lack of career progression, and with little engagement in your role, you may struggle to give examples of achievements in interviews.

‘And if you are doing just what is needed to get by, it’s easy to lose pride in your work and achievements.

“Quiet quitting is not recommended as a long-term strategy, but it can be used as a mechanism to create the space you need to work out the next step in your career. Think of it as a transition period.

“And with the taboo around job-hopping beginning to break, there’s no need to be in a role you don’t like long-term.”


Source: Metro.co.uk

(Link and quotes via original reporting)

Quiet quitting is the latest employment phenomenon to capture social media's collective imagination but a deeper dive suggests it might not be the miracle cure for burnout that it first appears, Metro.co.uk reports.

TikTokker @zkchillin reportedly defined quiet quitting as a state in which, “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond. You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life – the reality is, it’s not.”

But what does quiet quitting look like in practice? It might be saying no to projects that are not part of your job description or that you simply don’t want to be part of, leaving work on time, or refusing to answer emails and Slack messages outside working hours.

It could be a straightforward mindset shift, something that is not noticeable to anyone around you and yet allows you to feel less mentally and emotionally invested in your job.

This altered approach to working might sound like an attractive option but experts advise proceeding with caution.

“If you are getting to the point in your career where you feel that you’re putting work above everything else  - at the expense of other important parts of your life - it can be incredibly demoralising,” Charlotte Davies - a career expert at LinkedIn - told Metro.co.uk. 

“It’s very likely that you’ll start to retreat from work - ‘quiet quitting’ - in an attempt to bring back some balance.

“Of course, the best piece of advice is to avoid this happening in the first place, but we all know that’s very hard to do, particularly with the pandemic blurring the lines between career and personal lives, which still impacts how we work now.”

Quiet quitting might look like a good way to treat burnout - and the act of deprioritising your job and recognising that you are more than what you do can definitely help to reduce overwhelm - but by the time you’re exploring quiet quitting, it might already be too late.

Burnout can easily creep up on you and once it has taken hold proper mental health support and time off are needed. Quiet quitting might not be enough to help you heal.

Metro.co.uk instead suggests that quiet quitting could be more of a preventative measure. But one that requires you to really be in tune with your mental state and determine that you want to prioritise other parts of your life before the symptoms of excess stress really settle in. Not an easy thing to achieve.

It might also be worth considering whether you’d be better off actually quitting.

Communicate your concerns

Are your issues with this job specifically, or the idea of work as a whole? If it’s the former, perhaps it could be time to consider a job change to a role that you genuinely enjoy. Or maybe there are specific things about your role that you’d like to refine; actively pushing for change could you feel more empowered.

Quiet quitting is a passive act and embracing the trend could risk you feeling even more powerless.

“Quietly quitting is often a sign that it’s time to move on from your role,” Jill Cotton - career trends expert at Glassdoor - told Metro.co.uk. “If you’re reducing your effort to the bare minimum needed to complete tasks, your heart is probably no longer in the job or the company.

“Before deciding to quietly quit, reflect upon what isn’t fulfilling you and your reasons for making this choice; could whatever is causing your frustration be fixed by simply expressing your concerns to your manager?

“Whether your work-life balance isn’t right, the salary isn’t meeting your needs, or there’s no support to get the promotion you want, have a conversation with your manager before deciding to disengage from your role.”

It is also important to consider that by quiet quitting you could be closing yourself off to promotions and pay raises. That might not be a worry for someone actively pursuing other jobs or unconcerned about progression in their current role but make sure that’s the case for you. If part of you is desperate for a promotion, quiet quitting could feel like a bad decision when you’re passed over for something exciting.

“There are risks attached to taking this approach to your career,’ Paul Farrer - founder and chairman of Aspire - said. “Inevitably, your progression within that company will become limited – particularly if your colleagues are going above and beyond to exceed employer expectations.

‘You also run the risk of having little to show to your next employer when interviewing for your next role.”

Temporary strategy

The risks to quiet quitting come if it’s employed as a long-term strategy, with no other actions to address your situation. If you want to stay in this job but reduce stress, you may need to talk to your manager to make changes. If you want to leave this job and start another one, you need to take action to make that happen.

Jill told Metro.co.uk, “Quiet quitting isn’t new. Many of us will have subconsciously practised it after deciding it’s time to move on from our current role or when working the last few weeks of notice.

“A downside is that if you’re putting in the minimum effort there’s little opportunity to learn new skills or broaden your experience. Your experience could stagnate while your peers move on, making it tricky to find another job.

“Future hiring managers may also question your lack of career progression, and with little engagement in your role, you may struggle to give examples of achievements in interviews.

‘And if you are doing just what is needed to get by, it’s easy to lose pride in your work and achievements.

“Quiet quitting is not recommended as a long-term strategy, but it can be used as a mechanism to create the space you need to work out the next step in your career. Think of it as a transition period.

“And with the taboo around job-hopping beginning to break, there’s no need to be in a role you don’t like long-term.”


Source: Metro.co.uk

(Link and quotes via original reporting)

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