What’s With Quiet Quitting?

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I remember when I was a teenager in the early 1990s and I first discovered The Beatles. I felt like I was the first person to discover this amazing band, and most of my friends were amazed by my knowledge of this cool old band they had never experienced either.

The lyrics were so ”deep” and the melodies so complex that my 13-year-old brain was awash with new ideas and cutting edge music stylings. Of course, I was aware that their music was from the 1960s, nearly 30 years before I ”discovered” them, but I was the one who had uncovered this hidden gem of a band lost to the ages.

What felt immensely true to me as that young teenager was, of course, completely idiotic as I look back now as a mid-40s Gen-Xer. Yes I had discovered The Beatles for myself, but I was hardly the first and certainly won’t be the last.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Fast forward to 2022 and the hot new trend of quiet quitting being ”discovered” by Millennials and Gen-Zers. Quiet quitting is the idea of doing the absolute minimum at your work so that you can escape the hustle and the grind of the working man’s plight.

Quiet quitting is proclaimed as a way to free yourself from the unnecessary stress of constantly having to succeed. You can sit back and collect that paycheck without exerting yourself anymore than what is required to keep from getting fired.

Just like I was mistaken with my Beatles discovery this new trend of quiet quitting is nothing new at all. Quiet quitting has been around for millennia, and before this year when it was rebranded by a slick new TikTok driven marketing campaign we called it by a different name. Laziness.

Good old-fashioned laziness has been around since the beginning of time. And it was rightly steeped in a negative connotation because of its undeniable consequences. The fruits of laziness are clear.

The bible has a lot to say about laziness.

  • The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich -Proverbs 13:4
  • I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. -Proverbs 24:30-31

It’s not just the Good Book that talks about laziness. Some of the most successful people in our society have a lot to say about laziness as well.

  • We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work -Thomas Edison
  • Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy. -Tchaikovsky
  • Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do. -Elbert Hubbard
  • Your raise is effective when you are. -Dave Ramsey
  • I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you. -Kobe Bryant
  • People don’t understand that when I grew up, I was never the most talented, I was never the biggest, I was never the fastest, I certainly was never the strongest. The only thing I had was my work ethic, and that’s been what has gotten me this far. -Tiger Woods

Quite Quitting for Employees

If you are one of those excited to quiet quit and get more time to Netflix and chill then make sure you understand exactly what it is you are doing. You will likely keep your job, but when your next review comes up don’t be expecting a raise (even with inflation taking a hacksaw to your income). Don’t expect opportunities to come your way at the same rate either. Sure good things will continue to happen to you, but the rate at which you succeed in your life will be greatly reduced.

You have purposely chosen to slow down the rate at which you will succeed in your life and as long as you are content with that then have at it. Just realize that employers (and potential mates) are watching and noticing.

For 10 years I worked as a performer at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. One day I had an enlightening conversation with one of the casting directors about job security as a performer that I think applies to this topic so perfectly. In our meeting he politely told me about how his job really worked at Disney.

“My job is to find the best person for your role. I tour the country auditioning people to see who is the best in a particular position, and as long as you continue to be the best then your job is safe. But if or when I find someone better then that is when you’ll be replaced. So keep up the good work.”

Harsh? Maybe, but the unadulterated truth he gave me helped me understand my position very well and I acted accordingly. Constantly studying outside of work to be the best in my role that I could be. I kept my job for 10 years before I decided it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life. I kept my job through hard work and by continuing to be the best even though there were younger graduates gunning for my position.

The question is what will you do?

Quiet Quitting For Employers

As business owners quiet quitters are something we have to be vigilant against. They take up space for someone that could be an all star in your company. Every company has only so many seats on the boat and our job is to find the people who belong in that seat and will drive the business forward.

I know businesses are often described as getting people on the bus, but I prefer the boat analogy better because on a small boat, just like a small business, we are all rowing together. A good hire rows in cadence with the others on the team. A quiet quitter puts their oar in the water and rows, but they aren’t technically pushing the water back. They are just going with the flow trying to blend in and not be found out.

This makes everyone else’s job harder, makes us all pick up their slack and provides a headwind for the boat. None of us want someone who takes up space rather than contributes at work or in marriage, where quiet quitting is just as dangerous.

I truly hope for our societies sake that this fad quickly disappears because a society that romanticizes laziness no longer encourages the things that make it great. Creation, contribution, hard work, and growth. Without these we would still be living in caves and hunting with clubs. Don’t be fooled.

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