More and more people are “quietly quitting” their jobs. Should you?

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This is a decision you will need to think about carefully.


Key points

  • People who are dissatisfied with their jobs usually look for work elsewhere.
  • You can consider another option that does not involve changing jobs.
  • Maintain your boundaries in the workplace, but don’t let your job performance suffer so badly that you get fired.

In 2020, unemployment levels hit an all-time high as companies laid off workers left and right in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But in 2021, the labor market situation was very different, so much so that employers found themselves desperate to hire.

Meanwhile, today’s job market is still going strong. If you’re unhappy with your job, whether it’s low pay, a stressful environment, or some other reason, you might be inclined to quit and find a new one.

But lately, workers unhappy with their jobs have taken a different route. Rather than handing in their resignation, they instead “quietly resigned”. And that’s an option you might be considering as well.

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What is silent surrender?

Silent quitting is a recently coined term that refers to people who don’t quit their jobs, but also decide that they no longer push themselves to be the best at what they do. For some people, quitting quietly might mean setting boundaries and refusing to work after hours. For others, it might mean doing just enough work to avoid being laid off, but not as much work as an employer might want or as much as they used to.

What is the benefit of quitting smoking slowly?

If you’re unhappy with your job, you may not see the point in quietly quitting. After all, why not just go out and find a new job? But quitting smoking quietly could be to your advantage.

Let’s say you are currently earning a good salary – enough to easily pay your bills and still have money left over for your savings at the end of the month. If you are convinced that you will have a hard time finding a comparable salary at another company and you do not want to take a pay cut, then you can decide to simply quit.

Plus, there’s something to be said for the evil you know versus the evil you don’t know. You can work for a demanding boss or be part of a team of lazy colleagues who are difficult to work with. But what if you get a new job where your boss is harassing you even more and your co-workers are downright toxic and abusive? It’s far from a better situation to land. And so you may decide to stay where you are, but do less to achieve a more ideal work-life balance.

Is quitting smoking a smart decision?

To some extent it can be. But you will have to do it carefully.

Setting limits at work is a very good idea. This can help you avoid burnout and also avoid a situation where your employer takes advantage of you.

But if you commit to working less or doing only the bare minimum, you could find yourself on the chopping block if your performance suffers. And if you blatantly ignore deadlines, you could find yourself out of a job, too.

Therefore, if you are going to quietly quit your job, be careful. You can decide not to respond to work emails over the weekend when the items in question can wait (even if your boss prefers a quick response). But don’t go so far as not to do your job and talk to your boss when you’re asked to do things that are clearly part of your job description.

Of course, if your goal with quiet shutdown is really to set better boundaries, you don’t necessarily need to be quiet about it. Instead, you can sit down with your manager and explain that you think you’re being asked too much to do and that you need to find a better balance.

Having this conversation could help your boss realize that he’s overstepped his bounds, and looping it could dramatically improve your job situation. So before leaving your work in your head, make an effort to push the improvements.

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