“Quiet Quitting” Is Just Setting Boundaries

A lot of business and online publications have been absolutely losing their minds with something they’re calling “Quiet Quitting.” They’re painting it as a practice where workers are basically slacking off all day and talk about how it’s going to ruin the careers of the people that are doing it and damage the companies that they currently work for.

But if you read the articles, you find out that “Quiet Quitting” is literally… doing your job and then going home…

It’s not slacking off or sitting in your chair and spinning around in circles for 8 hours or anything weird. It’s seriously just doing your job as it’s written and then leaving in order to live your life.

The mind boggles.

So what makes this so upsetting to businesses and publications? The answer is that people aren’t going “above and beyond” anymore. They aren’t working themselves into the floor doing the job of multiple people for the same amount of pay. They’re learning to work in order to live instead of living in order to work and this TERRIFIES bosses and companies that rely on exploitation in order to maximize their profits.

It’s even more terrifying to bosses when you look at the larger picture of the current employment landscape. Workers have more power right now than they have had for quite some time between The Great Resignation and a dramatic increase in union activity. People who run abusive companies are probably seriously starting to lose sleep over this, and that’s part of why you’re seeing such an effort to smear and stop it.

I can guarantee you that the decent companies and bosses out there aren’t in a panic about “Quiet Quitting” and are shaking their heads along with the rest of us.

I can guarantee this because I know some of them.

For generations, we’ve been fed the lie that if you work hard, you’ll get ahead and the company will take care of you. Job hoppers are looked down on and sacrificing for the company that employs you is celebrated.

I’d say that the company taking care of you might have been true at one time, but by and large, it wasn’t true in the past either (apart from people in upper management or similar positions).

It’s always been a lie and people are finally starting to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

Work isn’t your life. Your company isn’t a “family” (and be incredibly suspicious of any company that calls itself that). The company you work for will happily fire you if it considers it to be in its best interest. If you died on the job, they’d have the position posted on CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, and LinkedIn before your funeral was over.

Don’t feel bad about simply doing your job and then leaving to spend the rest of your day living your life.

Don’t feel bad about not “going the extra mile” because you might not get a raise or promotion that probably doesn’t exist at your current company.

Don’t feel bad about changing jobs because a better opportunity comes along (whether you define “better” in terms of pay, learning opportunities, or any other criteria that you have set for yourself).

Your life is yours. It doesn’t belong to the place that deposits money into your bank account. The only thing they should expect in return for that money is a reasonable amount of work done in a reasonable amount of time. Past that, they have no claim on you and if they disagree, there are a lot of other places out there that are willing to trade money for your work.

The more people who start to enforce healthy boundaries with regard to work/life balance, the faster “normal” will change in a direction that is more healthy for actual people and is less open for exploitation.

Yes, change is scary. Pushing back is hard. We’ve been brainwashed from an early age to please the people “above” us. And, admittedly, not everyone has the power and privilege to do it. That’s why those of us who do have that power and privilege should exercise it – because, in the long run, it will help those who have less institutional power and we all end up better off.

Oh, and about the brainwashing to please people “above” us – want to take a guess as to who doesn’t get brainwashed with that nonsense? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

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