“Quiet Quitting” is actually just self care

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Arts & Life

It’s Thursday and you finally found time off from your part-time job to focus on school projects. Your manager texts you before noon asking you to come to work anyway. You reluctantly take the shift, and they tell you to help move stock as soon as you get there because they’re understaffed. This wasn’t in your job description. You weren’t even supposed to be here today. 

Now if you didn’t take that shift, or if you refused to move stock because it wasn’t part of your original set of duties, congratulations! You may be quiet quitting. 

Quiet quitting actually has nothing to do with leaving your job. The phenomenon itself is about employees doing the minimum work required to maintain their position, instead of going above and beyond for little to no acknowledgment. The term originates from an Insider article about a recruiter who slowly cut back on his work duties with little consequence, which then inspired a viral Tiktok that encouraged others to do the same. 

It’s not hard to see why the trend took off. Our generation of career-driven individuals grew up in a constant state of rapid advancement. Forty-hour work weeks and hustle culture became the norm. However, many of us have also seen the burnout incurred by our parents, grandparents and mentors from working these exhausting hours to no avail. 

Now, I personally don’t consider myself to be a lazy worker. My LinkedIn experiences section consists of nine different jobs I’ve worked in the past five years, all of which were jobs I genuinely tried to go above and beyond for. However, each of these jobs noticeably lasted for about a year or under. Some of them were temporary positions off the bat, but mostly I would quit these jobs due to burning out too quickly. 

I have been working at the same restaurant now for about a year and eight months, which is actually the longest I’ve stayed in one place since 2017. I started out burning bright and burning fast. I was a star worker for the first year–my managers and coworkers relied on me and trusted me, and I was just happy to help! 

Eventually, they started expecting more from me each time, and I began helping around in stations I wasn’t even a part of. I was burnt out. I was ready to quit. But I was self-aware enough to realize that I tend to jump ship when I burn out. 

Around this point in time, quiet quitting was starting to gain traction across several industries, so I decided to give it a shot. I would stick to my station, wouldn’t help without being asked and only retained the bare minimum information that I needed to perform efficiently enough. It did wonders for my mental health. 

For students who are juggling between priorities, this might be the route for you. As you enter the job market, ask yourself if this job is worth going above and beyond for. If you’re passionate about the work or hope to advance within the company, go for it! If you’re burning out from work but are still passionate about what you’re doing, consider temporarily quiet quitting. 

Quiet quitting is really about setting boundaries with the work you’re doing. No human being can give their all, all the time. Learn your limits and draw the line when you have to. If you feel like you need extra help, NAIT offers several mental health resources virtually and on campus. Find out more here

Latest Issue