There’s a new way to “quit” your job, and it means you don’t have to hand in your notice.
Instead, “quiet quitting” involves the rejection of the idea that work has to take over your life. For many, this is a huge mindset shift and quite a revolutionary concept – and it is one that many Aussies are getting on board with.
“You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” TikTokker @zkchillin explained in a popular video on the topic.
“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 and your worth as a person is not defined by your labour.”
That could mean ignoring work emails and calls outside of working hours, and leaving the office on time.
It could also mean declining projects that aren’t part of your job description.
These are all ways “quiet quitters” claim are crucial steps to avoid burnout and regain some work-life balance.
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Many commenters on the TikTok post found the inspiring video, with one writing: “Then when you do it (quiet quitting) you realize nothing at work matters and suddenly all the stress vanishes.”
Another said it can really work: “I quiet quit six months ago and guess what, same pay, same recognition, same everything but less stress.”
While a third said: “I did this when I asked for a raise and they told me no, but then started hiring people with higher pay and less responsibilities.”
However, another commenter cautioned: “This works best if you can tolerate your job – if you’re miserable, get outta there! Your peace of mind comes first.”
It appears the quiet quitting movement has also hit home with many Australians, with the TikTok sparking a lively discussion on an Brisbane Reddit thread.
Many Aussies explained they are currently using this method or have taken similar approaches in the past to their work.
“I stepped down from a management position to a lower one with fewer hours to study,” one user said.
“Went from putting in 110 per cent into everything I did to the absolute bare minimum required to keep me happy and employed.”
Another user, a nurse, said they had definitely “dialled down” their time spent at work after having to take time off for burn out and family issues.
“Since I’ve been back, I only work two to three shifts a week. I do what my job needs me to do,” they wrote.
“My work ethic is still strong but I no longer put my hand up for every other shift and I say no to some that are asked of me.
“I do stay for emergencies after hours but I won’t always be the one to do it. I absolutely don’t want extra responsibility anymore. There are others to do that.”
Another person said they have been “doing this for years”, while person said they adopted this method earlier this years and have since found their “more enjoyable and felt less stress”.
Others pointed out that this wasn’t a new concept, claiming it was nothing more than “healthy boundaries” and having a work-life balance, something any decent company should ensure exists.
One person claimed that the quiet quitting movement seemed to be more prevalent in Brisbane compared to other major cities.
“Having worked up and down the east coast, Brisbane is already ‘quiet quitting’ compared to Melbourne and Sydney,” they wrote.
“What I am noticing is that professional career paths are heading towards more rewarding, creative jobs with less stress. In other words, let the ambitious ones push for the stressful positions.”
While this all sounds very appealing, experts have warned the tactic could backfire, as it’s quite passive and could leave you feeling more powerless.
“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 demoralizing,” LinkedIn career expert Charlotte Davies 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. ”
However, while these tactics can reduce overwhelm, you may already be suffering from too much burnout that you may need more support, or to actually quit.
The good news is that some employers are recognizing that many employees are burnt out, and are taking proactive steps to help. A report from May that found more Australian companies are turning to a four-day work week with no pay cut as burnout rises among staff, as well as the fallout from brutal competition to attract employees, with the unemployment rate hitting its lowest level in 48 years.
From August many companies will take part in the reduced work week as part of an initiative from the not-for-profit advocacy group 4 Day Week Global.
Meanwhile, towards the end of 2021, research found that 4.7 million Aussies were willing to switch jobs for less pay but a better employee experience, according to Australian workplace technology company LiveTiles.
The past 12 months saw nearly half of Australian employees feeling stressed, exhausted or fed up, with a third of those surveyed revealing their job has become more difficult.
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