jesslowcher / Twenty20.com
You’ve probably heard of “silent weaning”; but, even if you think you know what it is, you may be doing it unconsciously. And if you are, it could be holding you back in your career.
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Here’s a look at what exactly the tendency to “quietly quit” entails, signs you might be doing it, and how to know if quitting your job would be better for your career.
What is “silent shutdown” – and is it always a bad thing?
LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann defines silent shutdown as “doing your job at the bare minimum to achieve a better work-life balance.”
“For many it’s a way to achieve a better balance and it’s the last step in moving away from the culture of hustle and bustle,” she said. “It could just mean finding more appropriate boundaries at work, like leaving work on time every day. For others, quietly quitting might go beyond that, like saying no to projects outside of your job description or outright refusing to respond to Teams emails and messages outside of work hours. .
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While it’s good to set boundaries, it’s important to consider your own intentions when adopting these new guidelines.
“It all comes down to how silent renunciation comes to life at work for you,” Heitmann said. “Are you retreating in a way that allows you to still show up for work and support your colleagues? Or is the quality of your work changing? Are you quietly quitting to deal with burnout, which can signal healthy boundaries, or for a deeper reason, such as job dissatisfaction? »
Signs you might quit without realizing it
You can retire from work without even consciously making the effort to do so. This tends to happen when you feel dissatisfied at work.
“Exhibiting passive aggressive behavior and feeling a lack of fulfillment are early signs of a quiet shutdown,” said Joe Mullings, career expert and CEO of The Mullings Group.
If you find yourself slacking off at work out of anger or feeling unchallenged, these are signs that you’re probably guilty of quitting quietly.
How Quitting Quietly Could Hold You Back
While it’s completely okay to set boundaries at work, it’s important to assess whether those boundaries could harm your long-term career trajectory.
“There are elements of silent surrender that go beyond setting healthy boundaries at work in an area that can hinder professional development, promotions, and raises, such as saying no to projects outside of your job description,” Heitmann said. “Your mindset and your goals regarding how and why you work will determine how you interpret and act on Quiet Stopping.”
As Mullings notes, it is important to distinguish between a “job” and a “career”; if you’re aiming for a career, quitting quietly can hamper your upward trajectory.
“A job is a series of tasks that you have given to someone who has bought time in your day in exchange for your mental or physical labor. However, a career is navigated,” he said. understand that a career is a building process, and it is these combined efforts over time that can lead to something powerful.
Silent Shutdown also doesn’t solve any problems you might encounter in your current work environment.
“The quitting trend is a short-term fix,” Heitmann said, “and doesn’t solve the bigger problem of finding the right balance between your priorities at work and your personal life.”
What to do instead of quietly stopping
Quitting smoking quietly can serve as a short-term solution to feelings of overwork; but, for long-term job satisfaction, it’s important to examine your actions and what your ideal outcome is.
“Take some quality time to figure out what you want and need at work or if you’re having challenges that can’t be overcome,” Heitmann said. “It’s always a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your manager about expectations.”
First, reflect on yourself.
“Think about your work priorities and pain points to guide a conversation with your manager,” Heitmann says. “What can you ask for that might help – shorter workdays or an abbreviated workweek, better compliance with off-peak hours, etc. ? And ask.
“Also, if you’re feeling disengaged or unmotivated, talk to your manager about the kind of stretch goals and/or new work you could take on that will help you achieve your goals while maintaining the balance that works for your life. .”
When it’s better to stop than to stop quietly
“If you’re hesitant to quit because you’re not motivated by your work or you’re not happy at work and/or you’re not meeting the expectations of your role, it may be time to find your next piece,” Heitmann said. “Knowing when it’s time to quit a job is very personal and tied to what you’re currently looking for in your professional life. Taking the time to identify where your pain points lie and trying to identify if these challenges are specific to your current job/employer or could be a problem with any job, can help you decide whether to stay or leave. .
Heitmann described some specific signs that might indicate it’s time to quit your job.
You can’t grow in your business
“Have you been offered growth opportunities? Have you asked and been refused? If you’ve explored multiple avenues of growth within your current company and voiced your needs and still aren’t getting the opportunities you want, it’s probably time to move on.
However, she warns against any rash decision.
“Don’t quit just because you’ve been passed over for a promotion — at least not in the heat of the moment,” Heitmann said. “Remember that growth doesn’t necessarily mean promotion to a higher position in your current department – it can also be a lateral change that helps you gain experience in a different role.”
There are no learning opportunities
“Being able to improve your skills or learn new ones is essential, and many companies now offer continuous learning and development offerings to retain and recruit employees,” Heitmann said. “If there are no learning opportunities, there are tons of companies that go above and beyond to provide ongoing training for their employees.
You are not proud of the company culture
“Professionals today say a good company culture gives them a sense of belonging in their day-to-day work lives,” Heitmann said. “Know what you are looking for in your workplace and ask yourself if you are proud to talk about your work and if you and your company share the same values. If the answer to these questions is no, it might be time to look elsewhere.
There is high turnover
“It’s not a good sign when there’s a revolving door of people leaving your company, especially if people you respect seem to be quitting out of the blue,” Heitmann said. “It could be an indication that there are systemic issues within your business or that something is happening in the pipeline that people are unhappy with. Try to understand why people are leaving as these issues can affect you as well. and can signal that it is also time to leave.
If any of these signs seem true to you, it might be time to move on. If you choose to do so, resign gracefully to avoid burning professional bridges.
“No matter what circumstances led you to take the next step in your career, your network is your most valuable asset throughout your career, and it’s important to leave your job in a professional manner,” said Heitman. “Give proper notice, respect relationships and offer yourself as a resource.
“It’s a small world, and you never know when your boss or co-workers might become a client or client in the future. In fact, our data shows you’re four times more likely to be hired through your network on LinkedIn, so don’t underestimate the power of your professional network!
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