Recently a new expression has exploded on social media: “quiet quitting”. This term means not abruptly leaving a job, but starting to do the minimum amount of possible work while keeping your position. It is reflected in ignored emails, underdeveloped ideas and delayed projects. According to a recent research survey, more than 50% of employees are not fully engaged at work and this expression was possibly created to describe how people are approaching jobs and professional lives to manage burnout, or a renewed commitment to life beyond the workplace, or a dissatisfaction with a career choice.
There are many opinions and solutions to “quiet quitting”, and as a Career Specialist with more than 25 years experience, I believe the answer involves the employer and the employee.
Employees want to be fairly compensated for the work that is done through salary and recognition, and for their employers to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified burnout and mental health issues. Many people are re-evaluating how much time they spend investing in low-pay, low-reward jobs. If the job has no real learning attached to it, there is no real sense of purpose. Employees are simply setting boundaries for work/life balance. There is also the reality that the baby boomer generation (people born between 1945 and 1965) is retiring and there are simply fewer workers for the amount of jobs that are available. Workers can now make more choices than ever before.
It might be time to reflect on the underlying issues of “quiet quitting” and for employers to adapt, and for employees to take time to find their best career fit instead of just a job. If you are employed and are in the space of being a “quiet quitter” or if you are unemployed and trying to find a job, here are 4 questions to ask yourself in order to reshape your direction so you can take back control of your career and discover an occupation that will fit you.
- Am I an introvert or an extrovert? By discovering if you like to work alone or with others you can identify which roles best fit your interests. A starting point is completing career assessment test and getting the results interpreted by a Career Coach. Even if the suggested jobs are not really what you are interested in, the results can help narrow down the route you might want to take. For example, for many years people told me I was an extrovert because I was a fearless public speaker. However, I am naturally very shy, and I am at my best when I work alone. The perception of others is not always your truth.
- What is my purpose? Finding out what you want to accomplish through your job is another essential piece of the puzzle. Think about things such as if you want to write policies that will change society, or if you want to entertain people using comedy. Ask yourself if you want to work with the marginalized community or if you want to work with an international prestigious company. No answer is right or wrong, however by discovering what your purpose in life is, you can find a role that has your shared values.
- What are my strengths? One of the best tips I was ever given was: “Craft your future around what you are good at”. If you are good at solving math problems research occupations that allow you to work with numbers. If you have a calm nature and like to delegate, you might be a good leader or manager. By determining your best strengths, you can match them to different occupations which in turn will help you to find your best fit or even your dream job.
- What do I enjoy doing for free? If there is something you like to do just because you absolutely love it and it makes you happy, seriously think about aiming in this direction or incorporating it into your occupation. At the end of the day, your occupation should motivate you beyond your salary. Motivation will forever be what propels you in the workplace.
In summary, to avoid ever being trapped in “quiet quitting”, reflect on your personality, strengths and purpose. Allow the answers to steer your direction, and help define your future. Explore what motivates you and give yourself the recognition you deserve for finding a place in the workforce that provides satisfaction, full engagement and a work/life balance.
To find out more about how to find your career path contact your local Employment Ontario funded Career Centre and find out if you meet the criteria to use their free services.
This article was written by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achēv at 100 Lombard Street in downtown Toronto. You can contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org