Are you feeling burnout after going above and beyond at your job, working through the weekends and taking on work beyond the scope of your field? Well, perhaps ‘quiet quitting’ might work for you.
The phrase has recently gone viral on TikTok, generating millions of views in a flurry of videos explaining the trend. Despite what its name might suggest, quiet quitting has nothing to do with handing in your resignation letter. Instead, it’s about avoiding overextending yourself at work, and instead resetting boundaries between work and your personal life.
“I recently learned about this term called ‘quiet quitting’, where you’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” says Zaiad Khan (@zaidleppelinzk on TikTok), whose viral video on the topic kickstarted the conversations surrounding the term. “You are still performing your duties, but you are no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentally that work has to be our life.”
Essentially, quiet quitting is the idea of cutting back your energy and effort at work, especially when going above and beyond your JD is the expectation.
You’re doing just enough in the office to keep up, then afterwards clocking out of work on the dot and muting all work messages after business hours. It’s about untangling your identity from your job, leaving you with more time and energy to invest elsewhere.
Khan’s video has since circulated around various social media platforms, and the phrase has now gone mainstream, with many taking for or against stances when it comes to the phenomenon. Some argue that it’s time to stop overworking and reset blurred work boundaries – made worse due to the work from home phenomenon accelerated by the pandemic – whilst others note that the negative connotations of this phrase might lead to workers being labelled as ‘lazy’ or ‘slacking off’.
With so much talk about the new trend, we sat down with Singapore-based millennial career coach Cindi Wirawan to discuss more about the topic. Here, we explore why the term is taking off now, how quiet quitting differs from slacking at the job, and when should one truly quit.