Letigio: Are you quietly quitting?

·3 min read

My friends and I have switched jobs and companies this year. It was a surprising coincidence, but all of us had roughly the same experience before we left our old jobs.

We only did what was required of us to do, but we did it with a burning passion; however, this kind of attitude later turned into a wispy smoke.

This kind of work-related attitude came back to my mind when I encountered the “quiet quitting,” which has been trending on TikTok among young professionals who support a healthy work-life balance.

According to a Time article published on Aug. 23, 2022, quiet quitting is “the concept of no longer going above and beyond, and instead doing what their job description requires of them and only that.”

The term’s negative connotation has sparked debates online, with some factions claiming that it promotes a culture of slacking off. Others believe otherwise, saying the practice of quiet quitting promotes a healthy work-life balance.

A concept that was formed during the pandemic, quiet quitting became popular among corporate workers who found the importance of drawing boundaries between the grinding work and a fulfilled personal life.

The idea of quiet quitting was alien to me and my friends because we’re career-driven or in Cebuano, “naning.” If we had encountered the term a year ago, we could have strongly objected to it and considered it as detrimental to career growth.

However, in light of our recent resignation and career jump, we realized that practicing quiet quitting is necessary at some point.

My friends, who were known to be pioneers and leaders in their previous companies, said they were dumped with an additional workload upon submitting their notice of resignation.

Similarly, I was also asked to complete additional tasks or to work extra days before I was finally allowed to take a terminal leave, a final leave consisting of accumulated unused leave (Merriam-Webster).

While we all treated the added workload as our last sense of gratitude to our previous employers, we felt like it was also a last-ditch attempt to burn us out. It was a kind of exacting revenge on us for leaving our respective companies.

So, we all did what seemed natural, quietly quit. We stopped doing our best.

While our generations constantly debate about the practice of quiet quitting as a culture on TikTok and reels, I believe it has long been a practice for workers in the transition stages of their careers.

The social impact of this new workplace trend is yet to be known, but its virality has already sparked conversations between workers and employers from all sides of the opinion spectrum.

I believe that quiet quitting is more of a behavior than a culture, a symptom rather than a disease. Companies should be wary of this becoming a trend within their workforces as it may signify dissatisfaction and discontent among their employees.

As for professionals like me, practicing quiet quitting is not the answer to a work-life balance. Setting boundaries can be done without compromising a fulfilling career and efficient performance.

But in certain circumstances, such as workload dumping after tendering a resignation, quiet quitting becomes a necessity.

For me and my friends, everything turned out well. As the newest member of SunStar Cebu, I found a workplace that motivates me to be better without exhausting myself.

Plus, I get to write columns, too.