Quiet quitting: is it the only option?

Man doing yoga with his dog
Man doing yoga with his dog

Let’s face it: the last couple of years have been challenging. It’s understandable if enthusiasm for work has suffered as we reevaluate our priorities and continue to adapt to working from home or a home-and-office hybrid model.

For some, the answer might be “quiet quitting,” which can be seen as both positive or negative, depending upon your perspective.

What is quiet quitting?

In essence, it’s coming in at 9 a.m. and clocking out at 5 p.m. — doing your job without allowing it to infringe on your personal time and energy. That means no working through lunch, no coming in early, no leaving late and no taking on tasks that don’t technically fall within the scope of your job.

Bosses and managers might see it as doing the bare minimum – but is it? Have we just been conditioned to do more for less for far too long? Maybe being connected to work 24/7 has made it too easy for people to expect us to be on call even when we’re not technically required to be.

After all, if you’re doing the job you were hired to do, shouldn’t completing your work on time and doing it all within the time your contract specifies be enough?

Could it be that perhaps the younger generation of workers are onto something by demanding employers respect work/life balance in a way older generations haven’t felt they could?

Or is there another option?

Try “quiet thriving” instead

According to the Washington Post1, quiet thriving might be a safer bet – and one that could be just as good for your mental health and your career.

The idea is to set healthy boundaries, examine ways to shift your mindset and take proactive steps so you feel less stuck or burdened on the job.

Here are some ways you can put quiet thriving to work for you!

Talk it out. If there’s something that’s been bothering you, approach your manager with potential solutions and ask about making changes. Taking action can give you a feeling of control over your situation. And if you don’t get the response you’re hoping for, make sure you understand why and see if there’s a compromise that works for both of you.

Focus on the good. Negative thoughts and experiences scream louder in our brains. Quiet the shouting by trying to focus on what’s going right instead. Write down the things you like about your job, good interactions you’ve had and positive experiences every day to train your brain to notice the good too.

Set boundaries. The glorification of “busy” is something we’ve learned isn’t healthy or sustainable. Let your manager know what your work/life balance expectations are so that everyone is on the same page. Maybe that means you don’t answer work emails after 5 p.m. and on the weekends, or you will only work through lunch if you’re allowed to bank that time and use it later. If you’re struggling to get your work done during regular working hours, approach your manager to discuss the issue and find a solution that doesn’t involve you working longer hours for the same pay.

Use your breaks wisely. Get away from your desk when you have break time. Step outside for a breath of fresh air, take 10 minutes to read or sketch, do a quick meditation or plan a fun weekend adventure. Staying at your desk makes it harder to separate work time from free time, and makes it easier for people to interrupt your break with work tasks.

Write down your accomplishments. Not only is this a great way to keep you motivated and focusing on positive things, but it also gives you something to talk about during employee reviews or if you’re approaching your manager to discuss a raise. Seeing a growing list of your accomplishments might also be the confidence booster you need to start thinking about finding another job or applying for a higher position within your company.

Learn new skills. Learning is another way to infuse life into a job that might feel stale. If your company offers job-related courses that can boost your knowledge and improve your situation, consider checking them out.

Foresters Financial™ members, make sure to visit MyForesters.com to take advantage of Lifelong Learning, a vast online learning library that members can access anytime, anywhere. You can choose courses that allow you to explore an interest or opt for ones that help you achieve personal or professional goals.

Foresters members can also get up to $1,000 in reimbursements or financial assistance to help them reskill, upskill and grow professionally with Foresters new member benefit, Foresters Renew™. Visit MyForesters.com for details and eligibility.

When you spend the bulk of your waking hours working, it’s important to be satisfied with your job — and to feel valued and respected. If you’ve done your best and can’t make your job work for you any longer, it might be time to start exploring new options. You never know where new opportunities might take you!


1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2022/12/14/youve-heard-quiet-quitting-now-try-quiet-thriving/

421508 CAN/US (02/23)

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