How to Quiet Quit Quite Quickly: Tips for Acting Your Wage
It’s been a big week for Boomer outcry in the news. Travesties like student loan forgiveness (what’s next, make college affordable to people not raised by millionaires???) and the Finnish prime minister getting in trouble for being hot and cool have gotten headlines but nothing has pissed off the old folk more than a growing trend among young professionals called “quiet quitting.”
What started with a Tik-Tok video has now been covered ad nauseum by reputable news outlets like the New York Times, Bloomberg, and Wall Street Journal that I can’t afford subscriptions to but will assume are upset about the concept based on headlines. Even prominent bald men like Kevin O’Leary, the Shark Tank guy who’s addicted to perpetuity deals and being meaner to struggling entrepreneurs than he needs to, has come forward and called the practice a “very bad idea” since “there is no room for personal happiness” in the pursuit of professional success. Very cool. Seems like a really nice guy.
So – what exactly is “quiet quitting?” For one thing, it’s a fire name that just rolls off the tongue. It’s also crazy hard to type out. Quiet Quit. Two words that are exactly the same, but like the molly dealer who wants to hook up with your girlfriend, one has an extra E thrown in there as a” treat.”
Anyways, quiet quitting is defined on Wikipedia as “the act of not abruptly leaving a job but doing exactly what the job requires, no more no less.” Depending on who you ask, the implications of this vary. For some, quiet quitting is about refusing to be taken advantage of by an employer and carving out time for things in life other that work. For others, it’s another example of entitled Gen Z / Millennial workers who are afraid of hard work. If you ask my favorite Reddit thread /antiwork, it’s a misleading name for what the very definition of paid labor should be.
It should come as no shock that I firmly believe that quiet quitting is 100% fine and should be celebrated. Honestly, doing what is in your job description should not be controversial (this is also called “being European”) but ever since God invented capitalism in a lab in China, we’ve had to deal with this bullshit of ‘hustle culture’ that only seems to benefit the people at the top.
However, the concept of quiet quitting can still a little hard for people to wrap their head arounds. That’s why I’m here to give you some pointers.
How to Quiet Quit Quite Quickly
Acting Your Wage
Obviously there are more things to life than money (sunsets, sunrises, a perfect wipe, a perfect poop that doesn’t need a wipe, being right, etc.) but for most jobs, you’re here for money and anything that you’re not paid for needs to be eliminated. .
Haters call it “the bare minimum” but enlightened folks call it “acting your wage.”
Here are some things you can cut out of your job immediately:
- Replying to group emails where you are not addressed directly.
- Yes, there will be many situations where you technically should respond. But if you’re not addressed by name, feel free to go radio silent. If they really need you, they’ll follow up.
- Deliverables that no one follows up with you on.
- If you have a weekly report that you’re supposed to send out, try skipping it for one week. If no one says anything, just stop doing it altogether. It was probably stupid busy work anyways that no one actually needs.
- Picking up the slack when an employee leaves and their position isn’t backfilled
- Your employer’s inability to recruit new talent is not your responsibility. Now, there’s no need to be an asshole and you can help out a bit, but make it clear to your boss that you need to be compensated for the additional work and responsibilities that have now fallen on your plate.
Manage Your Meeting Time Ruthlessly
As a quiet quitter, your goal is to get your work done in as little time as possible so you can spend the rest of your day doing stuff you don’t hate. To make this happen, you’ll need to eliminate the biggest time suck in any office – a meeting.
Here are some quick hacks for how to minimize your meeting time
Be the One Who Sets Up the Meeting:
Having control of the calendar invite is the best way to ensure control over the following important variables
- Meeting Attendees:
- Keep the group small and essential. Don’t invite any try-hards if you can help it – nothing extends a meeting more than someone who feels the need to repeat the same point in different words just so they feel like they’re getting the last word.
- Length of Meeting:
- Outside of a big presentation or a creative brainstorm, if you’re setting up a meeting for longer than 30 minutes, you’re probably doing something wrong.
- Don’t be afraid to end a meeting if there’s nothing else to talk about. It’s ok guys we don’t have to take the full meeting time if there’s only 5 minutes of things to discuss!
- Whether or Not This Meeting Actually Happens:
- This is more of a laziness thing, but setting up the meeting gives you the power to reschedule it a moment’s notice. This is particularly useful when you completely forgot to prepare slides for a presentation or decide to go to the gym at 3 pm when you have your bi weekly touchbase that no one gives a shit about.
Turn off Your Video on Zoom
- Chime in and say hello at the beginning and then smash that mute button and do whatever the hell you please. Goes without saying, but you should make it clearly known that you have camera issues and can’t join any video calls. That’s day 1 shit.
- A Zoom call is the best time to do other work so you can check out at 5 and spend time with people you actually like.
Pick Your Seat Wisely in Person
- Make sure you have a good seat in the conference room where no one can see your laptop so you can talk shit about everyone in the meeting on Slack with your work friend. As long as you nod at the right times and frown when appropriate, you’ll be fine.
- Establish yourself by making a very obvious point at the beginning of the meeting before anyone else can and then check out for the remainder of the time. If anything important happens, someone will send out follow up notes.
Don’t Be Afraid to Decline or No Show
- This is not only an effective way to manage your time but a massive power move. Fuck your meeting I have other stuff to do. If you really need me on this, let me know.
Make Your Absence Notable
This applies to the type As who genuinely like to work hard and want to advance in their career. You’ve probably been going above and beyond for a while with the hopes of getting that promotion, high level exposure or bonus that you need to feel better about being 5’7. And look, there’s nothing wrong with that – you’re not going to get ahead by doing the bare minimum and hitting ‘meets expectations’ on your evaluation every year.
However, there comes a certain point where your hustle is just a waste of your valuable time. If you’ve been vocal with your boss about what you want from your career or asked for a raise and they still haven’t come through, it’s time to take your foot off the gas to prove a point.
Ask any overwhelmed parent in a sitcom – the best way to get appreciated for all the unseen work that you do is to simply stop doing it and watch the entire household crumble around you. There’s like 25 Malcom in the Middle episodes about this.
Always Be Interviewing
Quiet Quitting is a great short term solution, but it’s no way to live your life longterm. There is something profoundly depressing about working at a place that brings you no joy outside of a paycheck that’s less than you deserve. That’s not even mentioning the emotionally draining work of closing yourself off so you can ruthlessly do the bare minimum at your job. Of course you shouldn’t do more work than your’e paid for, but in practice, that’s harder to do than you think .
Companies are made up of people and teams and I know you might hate your boss or the corporation, but most likely, you work with people you actually like. And despite your best efforts to only do what you’re paid to do, a part of you feels bad every time you refuse work that might help them out. It’s not their fault your millionaire CEO can’t find an extra $11,000 to pay you a market rate.
The point is, you deserve to be in a place where you don’t even think about quiet quitting because you’re so passionate about what you do, making so much money that you don’t care anyways, or at least feel valued by your peers. So take all that extra time on your hands and start looking for that thing you really want to do.
You might as well take matters into your own hands because one day, you’ll just become the victim of quiet firing anyways.