Is ‘Quiet Quitting’ Still a Thing? What to Do If You’ve Found Yourself Unfulfilled At Work
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Today’s work environment is more competitive than ever, but as an employee you may have found it increasingly challenging to find value in staying your current position. While there’s been a lot of buzz from economics experts lately about “quiet quitting” — employees who have disengaged from their work but are still physically present in the workplace — how do you know if you’re doing just that, maybe even subconsciously?
According to a 2022 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of younger workers support the idea of “quiet quitting”. Whether this is from poor management, companies not equipped to handling a now-hybrid work staff, or having more responsibilities piled on with less pay, it can be easy to feel yourself checking out from your day to day work tasks, or logging off earlier than expected. But for all the hype around it, how often is this phenomenon actually happening?
A Gallup poll showed that 50% of the U.S. workforce might be quiet quitting, or at the very least, working within the limits of their job description and not going above and beyond the scope of their position. While kicked off by “the great resignation” (which has since relatively stabilized), amidst rising concerns about inflation, more workers are pushing back against taking on more responsibilities than what they’re being compensated for.
Companies often struggle to identify and address this issue, which can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover and a negative work environment. If you find yourself quiet quitting, there are a few steps you can take to be proactive about restructuring your job position, so you can still feel like your career is developing in the right direction. And if you find yourself truly burned out? It might be time to use sites like ZipRecruiter to start the hunt for a new job. Here are the best tips to avoid job burnout and avoid “quiet quitting” yourself.
1. Clarify Or Update Your Job Description
Your responsibilities stem from your job description itself, and if you feel like you’re not being challenged (or being asked to do too much), discuss with your manager if a change is necessary. A new role or job title might invite new challenges that will engage you, or better reflect the work you’re already currently doing.
If you feel like it’s time to search for a new job, one way to make sure you stand out is to look at your job description itself — what keywords and attributes highlighted in the requirements do you fulfill? Don’t copy descriptions from job listings verbatim, but make sure to emphasize qualities that they’re looking for in an employee as early in your cover letter or resume as possible. On job boards like ZipRecruiter where listings can be send out to thousands of potential applicants and be aggregated across multiple job sites, you want to show what you can bring to the table as a candidate, even if your qualifications don’t 100% match the role.
2. Set Boundaries and Project Timelines
Feel like you’re always working on something outside the scope of your job description? Set boundaries with your supervisors and make sure you’re being asked to prioritize the work your position requires most first. For any additional responsibilities, let them know what you’re got on your plate currently and how much more you can handle, and then set timelines for your new projects to get them done.
But if you find yourself struggling to finish projects or just generally being unmotivated with your work, consider a position outside of your current industry. Do an honest self-assessment and narrow down which careers you’d consider going into, and which roles make sense with the professional skills you’ve already acquired over the years. Whether you’re looking into the fastest-growing job fields, higher-paying positions, or remote work, you’re going to want to choose a job search site that will let you get as specific as possible in your search.
3. Take Advantage of Career Development and Educational Tools
If you’re currently struggling with your workload, you might actually need additional training or further education to help improve their skills. If you feel like you’re not doing your best, you could take on a more challenging project to refresh your mind, or ask your employer about any additional certifications or even an entirely different degree that would help you advance in a new role.
You can always complete a professional development course, seminars, or workshops that will help get you up to speed. For more official degrees or certifications, night classes or online classes are more flexible ways to get that education while you’re in your current industry or transitioning to a new position. If all else fails and you want to look for a new job, search on sites like ZipRecruiter for entry-level positions that are willing to train you off the bat, or pay for any additional education required — you may be surprised by what you find.