Against “Quiet Quitting”

Yet another innocuous TikTok trend is threatening the development of its teenage demographic—quiet quitting.

The vague term doesn’t have a clear definition from its myriad adherents. However, the crux of this movement is the sentiment that workers must push back against America’s toxic “hustle culture” by not taking on additional work, refusing to answer calls or emails after clocking out, and essentially, doing the bare minimum to squeak by before payday.

While economist Mark Boldger originally coined the term in 2009, “quiet quitting” was thrown into Gen Z’s face through an all-too-infamous platform—TikTok. A multitude of 20-something influencers have marketed the phenomenon, propelling #quietquitting to over 100 million views. 

Quiet quitting may present itself as a way to prioritize a work-life balance and set boundaries against management, but like other filtered social media movements, there’s more to the story.

Arianna Huffington, founder of startup Thrive Global, said it best in a recent viral LinkedIn post: “Quiet quitting isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step toward quitting on life.”

Employees and students alike will find opportunities in their workplaces to challenge themselves, develop valuable connections for both career advancement and friendship, and overall, further personal fulfillment beyond financial compensation. It’s these aspects of a career that exist outside of a job description, and are what quiet quitters lose while defining their livelihoods as a burden. 

Additionally, instead of quietly quitting, why are we not inspiring courage through communication?

If a boss or teacher is putting genuinely unfair expectations or pressure on their employee, that should be an opportunity to voice those concerns directly to management. A recent study from McKinsey & Company found that teams who communicate effectively increase their productivity by 25%. 

But the preachers of quiet quitting don’t emphasize effective communication, therefore stalling the progress of healthy boss-employee relationships and curtailing the personal growth that comes from standing up for yourself. 

Essentially, quiet quitting creates more problems than solutions. It is crucial to cultivate a balanced lifestyle, but students must understand the drawbacks to this movement before entering a consequently underdeveloped workforce that could overtake our already staggering economy and culture.