Munif Ali

Understanding “Quiet Quitting” and the 5 Reasons It’s Dangerous

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Quiet Quitting” and the 5 Reasons It’s Dangerous

When you think of TikTok and the trends it has set, you’d think of the funny dances or the silly jokes. You wouldn’t imagine a phrase like “quiet quitting” going viral. However, that’s exactly what happened when user @zaidleppelin discussed the term in this video, posted last July 25, 2022. Since then, the video has garnered millions of views and sparked a serious debate about workplace culture. Here’s what you need to know about quiet quitting and why it can be dangerous for your career and lifestyle.

What is “quiet quitting”?

Ironically, the term “quiet quitting” has nothing to do with resigning or leaving your job. As stated by @zaidleppelin in his video, it’s what happens when someone at work does the bare minimum. In other words, quiet quitting is when you only work to meet your requirements and do nothing else to grow or further your career.

For example, a writer who is tasked to make five articles per week would be quiet quitting if they only reach those five articles. By itself, that may not sound so bad. After all, you’ve met the needs of your job. However, a quiet quitter would not do anything else. They wouldn’t volunteer to do additional work. They wouldn’t contribute ideas to help the company grow. They wouldn’t even do research or watch videos to grow their skills. In essence, a quiet quitter is a placeholder, someone with no ambition to do anything beyond what’s asked.

Now, you might be wondering if there are people like that in your workplace. You might even worry that you could be a quiet quitter. To help you out, here are the telltale signs of a person that’s quiet quitting.

You’re uninterested in all work-related activities.

Do you find yourself bored or unmotivated by anything related to work? Whether it’s an upcoming meeting to discuss new strategies or an office party, a quiet quitter doesn’t find any joy in their workplace. For them, such things feel like a waste of time. They’d sooner go home and spend their day with friends or family instead of bonding with co-workers.

A quiet quitter would also show no interest in doing anything to help further the company. While you can do your job, I believe that a good worker is someone who wants to grow and evolve from where they are. Think of a plant that wants to expand and go beyond the pot that houses it. People like this look forward to proving themselves, taking on new projects, or spearheading new plans at work.

Compared to that, a quiet quitter is like a plant that refuses to sprout or bloom. They don’t want to learn new skills or build habits to help them in the future. These people may not have any ambition to go further in their chosen profession, whether that’s a higher-paying position or a more important responsibility.

You show no interest or passion in your job.

Oftentimes, a quiet quitter might not even like or care about the job they have. They see the value of it as a way of getting paid. They understand that it’s work and that it helps their lifestyle. However, a quiet quitter wouldn’t find joy in what they do. For them, the job is only a job, nothing more and nothing else.

While many people might not be satisfied with the job they have, there are plenty of reasons to still find joy or passion in the work you have. There are new chances to meet with other companies or see how different managers work. There are ways to grow skills in your chosen field, like writing or accounting. There’s also a group of co-workers who want to meet and befriend you.

For a quiet quitter, that stuff means nothing. For them, it’s only about the 9-5 shift. It’s about meeting your contract’s needs and that’s it. These people don’t want to go further than where they are. They don’t want to try and make new skills, and they don’t want to explore different job options. For them, quiet quitting is all about coasting along.

You refuse to change your habits.

Many people can feel unhappy with the job they have. Those who do might start looking for new opportunities elsewhere. They might still work with their current job while building a side hustle or their own business. It’s a way of letting them grow and learn new ways to make a living.

That’s not the case for quiet quitters, though. They can be very stubborn in just staying with a job and doing nothing more than what’s asked. They might not care to seek greener pastures in other companies or businesses. They might not even have plans to work elsewhere until they are laid off. For a quiet quitter, jobs are just jobs. They don’t mean anything to that person beyond the paycheck and the hours clocked in.

Why is quiet quitting bad?

As you can imagine, quiet quitting is a dangerous mindset. If you show any of the previous signs, you’re likely someone who doesn’t enjoy or find pleasure in your work. For you, it might not even feel important to your life. However, if that is the case, you can’t let this trend continue. It might sound relaxing and simple, but being a quiet quitter can be dangerous. Here are some reasons why quiet quitting can do more harm than good.

Quiet Quitting and the 5 Reasons It’s Dangerous Sleeping

1. You risk burnout.

If you spend your work life quiet quitting, doing nothing more than what’s asked, and finding nothing special in your work, burnout comes much faster. Burnout is when a person feels tired or unhappy at work, to the point where they can’t function outside of it.

For example, a man who has been working at the same job, doing the same tasks, for five years might look stressed and tired all the time. He might always drink coffee just to energize. He might be listless and silent at work, doing nothing than what he’s always done and saying nothing about it. Even if you can see his tired face or his low energy, he might have stopped caring so much that he doesn’t even notice.

Being burnt out at anything, especially at work, is never a good thing. Firstly, you’re putting your mental health in danger. You can’t let yourself live a life feeling tired or unhappy all the time. It’s not safe and it can lead to bad habits, bad behavior, and poor physical health.

Secondly, someone who is burnt out might cause more problems at work than they think. You might be doing your job, but if you feel burnt out, you risk hurting yourself and your colleagues. If you find it hard to focus, you might not be able to do the tasks asked of you. It’s a lot harder to concentrate on your job when you can’t even find a reason to smile while doing it.

2. You become lazy in your life.

Quiet quitting could also be a sign of laziness. If you think about how it works, then quiet quitting is like slacking off. You might be doing your job, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. However, doing nothing more is practically like staying still during a race; you’re only there to take a spot, not contribute.

Being lazy at your workplace could lead to serious problems for your mindset later on. If you don’t mind coasting at work, how much more for other things in your life? You might not care about your weight, even when it’s not healthy or safe. You might stop caring about your chores, even if your room becomes a mess. You might think that work has nothing to do with your life, but the quiet quitting mentality can spread quickly. A positive go-getter can excel in and out of the office. Conversely, a quiet quitter might be alive but never truly enjoy life, whether they have a job or not.

3. You stop progressing in your career.

If you think quiet quitting is a good idea for your career, think again. Your bosses and managers don’t just care about someone who delivers. They also like initiative and are willing to trust those who try to step up. For example, someone who volunteers to oversee a project or is willing to work overtime because of a problem is a must-have asset. For the company and the boss, these workers show the dedication needed to grow the business.

Compared to that kind of person, a quiet quitter is a dead weight. Someone who doesn’t care enough or show promise in their job isn’t going to help at all. It’d be like trying to swim with a backpack full of rocks; eventually, you’d just throw the bag away and move on. So, if you think quiet quitting is a good idea to stabilize your life, think again. Your boss will want someone who can go the extra mile, and if you’re not careful, they’d sooner say goodbye than try to keep you.

4. You cause problems in your workplace.

A quiet quitter might not care about others at work, but that doesn’t mean they won’t cause problems. I believe that colleagues in the workplace should be like a family. Working together towards the same goal means building trust and cooperating with those who think like you and want to help you succeed.

So, imagine trying to work with someone who doesn’t even talk to you. You might make jokes or ask for help, but if they don’t take the time to even look at your messages, you’ll grow to dislike that person. And worse, it’s not just you. A quiet quitter is going to look like a problem for their colleagues, their bosses, and their clients.

A quiet quitter also causes problems for those looking to hire in the future. Remember, a lot of jobs and positions need references from people who’ve worked with you. If the people you work with have seen your lack of enthusiasm, what do you think the recruiter will say? Most likely, they’ll just pass over you and look for someone with more drive and determination. In other words, you not only cause problems for your current workplace, but you also risk losing out on other roles or positions in other places.

5. You stay unhappy.

Think about quiet quitting and everything we have mentioned so far. Does that look like a happy life? Would you be content with going through life, exerting no effort on your work or yourself? The truth is that nothing good in this life comes easy. Exercise and dieting are the keys to good health. Studying and researching will help people learn and improve. If these are true, then working hard and doing more than expected is the ideal way to grow in life.

If you’re a quiet quitter and you let your life go through the motions, you’re not going to be happy. That’s not to say that you should work hard at a job you dislike. What you ought to be doing is looking for a job or career that makes you feel satisfied and complete. You could also try looking for things in your job that inspire or motivate you.

In short, quiet quitting isn’t about being content or firm in your workplace. It’s just another word for complacency. The last thing you want to do is stay in the same place with no direction. That’s why you can’t let quiet quitting be the answer to anything, whether in or out of the office. Otherwise, if you let your life just trail on the bare minimum, you’re only going to disappoint yourself.

How do I avoid or overcome quiet quitting?

Now that you know how problematic quiet quitting is, you need to know how to avoid or change it. By doing so, you can make some real changes and turn your life into something meaningful and enjoyable for you. Here are the ways you can avoid and overcome quiet quitting in your job and your lifestyle.

Quiet Quitting” and the 5 Reasons It’s Dangerous Thinking

1. Recognize that “quiet quitting” isn’t ideal.

In @zaidleppelin’s video, he pointed out that people often quiet quit because they don’t want to live in the hustle culture. He stated that work should not be the only focus in your life and that your worth as a person is not defined by the outputs you do. In a way, he is correct. You are worthwhile no matter what job or profession you have, and your life should not center only on work.

That said, doing the minimum and not working hard isn’t the way to fix your problem. If you’re not happy with something at work or things don’t seem to align, the last thing you’d want to do is coast along. Think of it this way: if you’re on a boat and it has a significant leak, would you just tape over it and keep sailing? Or would you rather look for a way to plug up the hole completely and stay afloat?

The truth is that even if you hate your job, the last thing you want to do is stay there and do nothing more than necessary. You’re essentially admitting to a problem that you’re not willing to solve. Sometimes, the best move is to take your talents elsewhere. Other times, you might have to confront the people in charge to make the changes you want. That could include cutting down on your responsibilities or adding more downtime to a busy schedule.

In either scenario, you wouldn’t be staying still and being complacent. If you want change to happen, you have to be willing to accept risks and take action. Quiet quitting isn’t going to solve any of your problems. The sooner you recognize that the faster you can start to do something meaningful again.

2. Pace your work life and tasks.

When it comes to the hustle culture, people mistakenly believe that you should work at 100% throughout the day. That’s completely untrue. Many people have low-energy and high-energy periods at work within eight hours. It’s like a car engine; you can’t expect to run 200 mph for a long time without doing some damage to the car itself.

Unfortunately, people go and quiet quit because they think that they’re overburdened. They might feel that work is too tough or lengthy, so they rest by doing only what’s necessary. They’ll reach the passing grade or activity rate but refuse to go anywhere beyond that.

If you feel tired at work, quiet quitting won’t fix your problem. What you need is control over your pace. To do that, you have to recognize that you can’t be at 100% all the time. You need to know when to rest and when to turn up the effort.

Consider adding break periods or simple tasks to your schedule. By having easier, smaller goals at a time, you can stay productive while building your energy to a bigger goal. Once you feel ready to go all out, work as hard as you can for an hour or so. Then, rest and build up. If you build this kind of routine, you’ll quickly learn to pace yourself and make work both satisfying and manageable.

3. See if you’re appreciated at work.

Some people go with quiet quitting as a form of protest. They might have been working hard but get little to no recognition. For example, they might not be paid for overtime or acknowledged for the extra tasks they take. 

Being unappreciated is a big problem at work, and it’s fair to see why people might strike back by being as unhelpful as possible.

However, quiet quitting is like a passive-aggressive note. Even if your boss gets the message, they might not see why you’re upset. If you want to change things, approach your supervisors or managers. Take time to ask them if your work is being noticed and appreciated. If not, ask why. Perhaps there are some mistakes you’ve overlooked.

If it becomes clear that they aren’t treating you fairly, that’s when you should double down and fight back. Start by approaching the boss about these issues. Explain why you feel unappreciated and how you’ve noticed it. Once they see your point of view, they can share what they can do to help. And if they still don’t appreciate you? That’s when you start looking for greener pastures. Remember, if you’re working somewhere that doesn’t value you or your effort, there’s always another place that will treat you fairly. Only by having a proper and caring workplace can you feel happy in your career.

4. Recognize how important high-quality work is.

Quiet quitting might be a reaction from people who don’t see why their work should be high-quality or focused. These people might find their hours in the office unnecessary, especially if they don’t see a purpose in their work. The truth is that wanting high-quality work at all levels, whether a janitor or a CEO, is natural and fair. All workplaces are like a machine. If even one factor is less-than-ideal, it risks hurting the whole thing.

If you want to know the value of your work, take time to consider what high-quality work in your job is. Think of how it can make clients and other people happier. For example, a nurse might complain about the night shift they spend. However, once they consider what would happen if they didn’t do well, they’d realize that patients could be in pain or danger. If they want to help people, that might mean sacrificing an easy time to make sure that each patient is taken care of.

In other words, sometimes sacrifice and hard work is an absolute must. There may be days when you’re forced to give up something important because duty calls. It’s not easy, and no one could blame you for being upset. However, at the end of the day, high-quality work can make a difference. It keeps your company strong, your career alive, and your clients happy. Always take time to see how your work can help others. You might be surprised by the differences you make.

In summary

The term “quiet quitting” has become popular through TikTok, but the practice itself isn’t ideal. It’s all about giving the bare minimum at work. Though it might seem like a relaxing way to live, the practice only teaches you to be complacent and passive about life.

Quiet Quitting” and the 5 Reasons It’s Dangerous Running

If you want to make an honest living, you need to start putting effort and looking for ways to grow. You can start by recognizing what parts of your job are important and why. If you aren’t appreciated, take time to speak out and see why. If you don’t like your job, consider shifting or looking for other ways to earn. In the end, quiet quitting only encourages people to coast along their careers. If you want to make a difference, you need to take action. Only then will you get to find what you’ve been asking for, whether that’s respect or happiness at work.

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Article Sources
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  2. Daugherty, G. (2022, September 30). What Is Quiet Quitting—and Is It a Real Trend? Investopedia. 
  3. MacDonald, A. (2022, September 27). Five Ways Managers Can Help Prevent Quiet Quitting. MIT Sloan Management Review. 
  4. Robinson, A. (2022, October 30). Quiet Quitting: How to Prevent & Combat it at Work. teambuilding.com. 
  5. Rosa, R. D. (2022, September 20). Quiet Quitting: What Are the Risks of Doing the ‘Bare Minimum’ at Work? Psychreg. 
  6. Ross, H. (2022, September 9). Quiet Quitting: What It Is and Signs to Look for. Fellow.app. 

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