Stop Quiet Quitting! Do this instead.
Being told what to do is no fun. In fact, it might be why you are quiet quitting. Whether it's your boss directly or indirectly, your subconscious letting you know something else is needed, or your body giving you signs to simply do less.
I know I'm telling you to stop Quiet Quitting, but I want to tell you why and what you can do to get some relief. I know because everytime I get overwhelmed and frustrated, I seek out other opportunities. Doing so under painful conditions has never really worked. It just begets more pain.
If you are consciously or unintentionally quiet quitting, you are avoiding what you NEED to do in order to be successful. I know, the circumstances you are in can be hard:
- The stigma of working from home and perceived productivity
- Established expectations and patterns at work
- Alignment of compensation and benefits to the value you are bringing
The stigma of working from home and perceived productivity
Perhaps you are in a circumstance that you need to work from home. For some, that may mean being immunocompromised. Others work from home out of the need to care for a loved one. Or perhaps you just know the value of your time previously spent commuting.
I used to live in Washington DC so my commute was unreasonable. I didn’t have much of a life outside of work because I spent most non-working hours in the car. And prior to that, I lived in a rural area where I would drive an hour and a half each day. By the end of the week, I had already lost a full day of sunshine.
Working from home has become not only a convenience, but a necessity for some. And regardless the reason, shouldn't we each have the autonomy to make the lifestyle choices we want?
If a boss or employer is concerned about an employee's productivity, they should be looking at the system they have created for employees to contribute their best work, not the environment they are in.
Established expectations and patterns at work
Speaking of systems, let's break it down into processes. If you are in a role where you aren't getting monthly, if not quarterly feedback about your progress, then maybe there is an opportunity for professional development. And if you aren't given an annual review, then it's time for you to either lead the way or look elsewhere.
Having worked for leadership development companies, I know the importance, and if done right, the effectiveness of annual reviews. Yes, they can be stressful and daunting, but not if everyone is doing their job. Want to go above and beyond? One way would be to meet with your manager 6-8 weeks prior to your review and present them with smart goals that align with the organization's mission and vision. Showing your boss that you see yourself in the vision and are working to contribute to the mission will go a long way. Planting the seed early will get them to think about how to best coach you and it may end up setting up a new pattern with regards to how you work together.
In the beginning of my corporate career, I despised annual reviews. I took them personally and thought my boss was out to get me. Soon I realized that the decision makers are looking at metrics that had no bearing on how I felt—even if I was passionate about my work, or scared of being fired. So when I presented my manager with a 90-day plan three months prior to my annual performance review. She had a bonus waiting for me by the time the review was complete. I was the first person in the company to receive the bonus and many teams used how I approached my professional development as a way forward. From that point forward, I always got a bonus and my manager realized how helping me and my coworkers reach our goals helped us, her, and the organization.
Alignment of compensation and benefits to the value you are bringing
When you and your boss can clearly see what you are contributing, there is not reason you can't or shouldn't receive the compensation and benefits you seek. This may take several crucial conversations, but by not having them, you feel and live out the missed opportunity you don’t seek.
So how do you do this?
Set expectations with your boss and boundaries for yourself. Easier said that done, right? Well, I already outlined a few solutions for you. But let’s explore the root cause a bit so you can decide the best approach for you.
What is the root cause of Quiet Quitting?
In general, Quiet Quitting is a side effect from the Pandemic, fueled by capitalism.
On an individual contributor level, it’s a response from burn out.
What is burn out?
The definition of burnout is…
Not being able to recover from what you did today, by tomorrow.
I talk about burnout in depth in the video/blog post: How to increase engagement in online settings.
First I’ll give you a simple, but not always easy-to-implement way to avoid burnout, then we will tackle Quiet Quitting.
To avoid burnout, you must know and be able to manage
your capacity vs. your capability.
Capability is measured by your skills and expertise needed to complete a task.
You were hired for your current role based on your skills and capabilities before your capacity was even known or could be measured.
Capacity is how much of that task you can accomplish well in a set period of time.
And this is based on how well you manage your capabilities. Are you working to your highest potential? And if so, is it because you are working hard or working smart?
Another way to look at capacity...
We often overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and under estimate what we can accomplish in a year.
By over estimating what we can accomplish in a day, we burn ourselves out by either working faster or working longer than we can recover from. This can lead to more mistakes, lethargy, and resentment or negative self talk.
If our skillsets and strengths are a good match (capability) and we know what we can accomplish in a set time (capacity) we can avoid burnout on a daily basis by doing our best work and recovering by the next day.
Now how does that relate to quiet quitting?
When we get burned out, we need a break to recover. If we take that break, and break frequently as needed, we and others may perceive the behavior as giving up or quitting.
Point a magnifying glass on that behavior while looking at the aftermath of the pandemic as a whole and it gets labeled Quiet Quitting.
NPR recently published an article called, Quiet Quitting, real quitting, unionizing—what else are American workers up to?
In the article, it states that there are more job openings than there are job seekers and the gap is growing. And while there are pockets of job freezes and layoffs, most employers are stuck between trying to keep employees while onboarding new ones.
On the other side of the coin, employees are forming unions, strikes, walk-outs, and quiet quitting as a means to say enough is enough.
NPR also published an article called, What is ‘quiet quitting,’ and how it may be a misnomer for setting boundaries at work.
With so much talk about quiet quitting in the media and in our own minds, how do we strike a balance between getting what we need out of a job and what an employer needs from us?
Well I talk about this in a previous video blog called, Managers vs. Employees: How do we align to the wants and needs of both?
In that video blog I go deep into how managers and employees can come together to meet the needs and wants of both. This can be especially important during a time of quiet quitting.
If you are looking for a quick answer, I’m going to tell you what has worked for me and many others: tech hosting!
Tech hosting is a service-centric skill that anyone working online can add to their toolbox. It adds value to the work you do, helps you show up in a more visible way to your boss or manager, and gives you a vehicle to make cultural change.
If you aren’t a change management person, let me break this down for you: It makes your job better!
Easier said than done, right?
At Tech Host Academy, I give you THE tools to find the right answer for you and your employer. A tool you can download and start implementing today that will have a long-lasting affect on your career.
Want to show up with even greater value, online, in front of your boss and co-workers?
The tech hosting skills I teach at Tech Host Academy model the way.
Need to reset the conversation and what others expect of you?
We give you the tools and language to communicate the value you bring.
Starting a new job?
This is a great way to get more compensation and set you up for success in the first 30-90 days.
Together we identify the skills and strengths you bring to your work, how to communicate them, and we set SMART goals to align your new tech hosting skills to add even more value to your position.
I said it before and I’ll say it again:
Set expectations with your boss and boundaries for yourself.
Transparency is key…
And scary! Finding the language and the right time to approach your boss can be a challenge and scary if you haven’t been vulnerable with them before. I give you the tools and the language to take the initiative to find ways you and your boss can meet the needs of the organization, and your needs, so that you don’t have to burn out, and you won’t be accused of quiet quitting. My approach will help set your mind at ease, so you can do your job better, and help those around you do their best too.
See, most decision makers in an organization are focused on the top and bottom lines, making metric-based decisions that can affect you too. But you have a choice, and an opportunity. Don’t allow yourself to make a decision based from a place of burnout. This is hard to do. When we are overstressed, we tend to forget how to access the creative problem solving centers of the brain.
So do yourself a favor, bookmark this page and make a note on your calendar to come back to it later.
Take some time to reflect in whatever makes sense to you.
Take a walk, write in a journal, talk with a trusted friend or mentor, and think about how exploring your needs and gaining the tools needed to communicate the to your boss will help set expectations about your career now and into the future.
I hope we have an opportunity to connect at Tech Host Academy. If you want to get started on your tech hosting journey today, you can download this free roadmap.
Take Quiet Quitting out of the equation and take the time you need to make the right career decision for you.
Want a behind-the-scenes pass to learn what it takes to be a professional tech host?
Check out the free training webinar:
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without needing to Be a Tech Geek
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