I can hardly get through the day without bumping into a Reel or TicTok video lauding the benefits of quiet quitting. Even worse, there are other videos that give you point-by-point instructions about how to do it.
The quiet quitting philosophy argues that if you aren’t getting the recognition and monetary reward to which you are entitled (there’s a red flag word if I’ve ever heard one), you should do something about it. So far, I’m in complete agreement with this perspective. But then it takes an ugly turn.
Proponents of this mindset first acknowledge the obvious–you can’t outright quit your job, because you need money to live. Instead, they proclaim you should do the bare minimum required of you at you job. The thinking is: If those jerks aren’t going to pay you, then you should just stop trying. While maintaining an outward appearance of compliance and helpfulness, you should subtly do less. Don’t go the extra mile. Don’t help more than you are required to. This way, they say, you’ll even up the score and stop being ripped off by those meannies you work for.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many videos telling you why this is a horrible idea. I only have so much room for this article, so I am going to have to practice self-restraint and limit myself to only five reasons this philosophy is just plain nuts.
1] Quiet quitting is another way of saying “mediocrity.”
If success is defined as the process of fulfilling one’s potential, then what is the opposite of success? It can’t be failure, since failure is always part of the process of learning and growing.
So the opposite of success has to be mediocrity. Phoning it in. Just showing up and nothing more.
My question is, why would anyone want to define their existence by that standard?
2] You’re robbing yourself of self-esteem.
Genuine self-esteem only comes from accomplishment. I love the idea of self-affirmation–talking positively to yourself. That kind of talk is important and helps you feel good for a little while, but foundational, life-changing confidence and self-esteem has to be earned.
3] You can’t compartmentalize character.
If you have a standard in one part of your life, it’s going to bleed over into all the other parts of your life. If you adopt mediocrity as a standard at work, it will seep into your personal relationships, health, and finances. We all have been given the amazing gift of life, but we only get one shot at it. So you have to ask yourself, “Is a mediocre mindset really the best philosophy to adopt?”
4] You’re destroying your reputation.
Did you know that there is a list floating around the Internet of co-workers’ nicknames for people who don’t pull their weight?
• Kitkat – The guy who’s always taking a break
• Justin – Does Justin-nuff to not get fired
• ET – Just wants to go home
• Lantern – Not very bright and has to be carried
Mind you, one should never ever call anyone (including co-workers) names, either to their face or behind their back. But, rest assured, people are thinking those things about the quiet-quitters in their midst just the same.
Know this, the other people that you know who also quiet quit won’t think any more of you for adapting their mindset. The funny thing is that they even might think less of you. Why? Because people use a different standard when they judge other people than they do for themselves. So, even though you’re doing the exact same thing they are, they might think less of you.
But that’s not the problem. The problem is that everyone else around is also noticing your behavior.
I’m not saying you don’t need to set boundaries with the people around you. I’m not saying you should run yourself ragged and that self-care isn’t important. I am saying that adopting a philosophy of mediocrity is detrimental to everything in your life.
And, if we’re being honest with each other, most of the people reading this aren’t going to be the target audience for this article. But there needs to be some pushback against this dangerous mindset. So, if you hear somebody espousing that quiet-quitting nonsense, maybe run a couple of these points by them and keep them from driving off a cliff of mediocrity.
© 2023 Charles Marshall. Charles Marshall is a nationally known humorous motivational speaker and author. Visit his Web site www.CharlesMarshallSpeaker.com or contact him via e-mail at Charles@CharlesMarshallSpeaker.com
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