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Career Development

5 Signs That It’s Time to Do More Than Just Quiet Quit

General Assembly
September 26, 2022

Are you bored at your current job? You’re not putting in much effort, just doing what needs to be done to get through the day and shutting down when your shift is up. Without realizing it, you might be quiet quitting.

Purpose tied with meaning is what stimulates action. Whether in personal or professional goals, job titles, and careers. We are usually more prone to putting our best foot forward at a job when it carries weight. But if you’re mentally checking out, maybe it’s time to reconsider your career options.. 

If you’re working in the shadows and just getting it done, a pay rise or new title might not be on the horizon. Is a promotion in your current line of work what you really want? It’s not just you, according to Gallup, 85% of employees could be quiet quitting worldwide. 

Employee engagement has a big part to play in this phenomenon, with 67% of employees quiet quitting in the US. And, in Australia and Singapore, 19% and 14% of their workforce are not engaged. 

What is quiet quitting, and why does it matter?

Quiet quitting is a practice of mentally checking out of work after doing the bare minimum within your responsibilities. Forget about taking on more duties or additional tasks outside your job description; you’re just doing what needs to be done to get through the day. 

Mostly everyone at some stage throughout their careers has experienced quite quitting. However, quiet quitting is not always bad, it can be good for your mental health. Quiet quitting allows you to take a step back and practice self-care — whether that’s actually making some time during the week to see your friends and family, exercise, or pick up a new hobby. 

You might be wondering why you are experiencing quiet quitting. There are many reasons why you might be unhappy at your current job. According to Verywellmind, toxic work cultures, lack of work-life balance, and poor employee benefits/financial security are all key signs it might be time for a career change. 

5 signs your mental checkout at work is more than just a phase

Maybe this article is one of many signs you have already encountered that it’s time to do more than just let time pass you by for another check. In case you’re wondering what those other signs look like, here are 5:

#1: Your energy levels are low…and you’re constantly calling out sick

Don’t be surprised if your energy levels at work have hit rock bottom. Employee engagement isn’t binary. There are three persona types of engagement at a workplace. 

  1. Engaged: when you’re an engaged worker, you almost barely call out sick, even when feeling under the weather. This behavior is usually due to a passion and deep connection to the company mission or work responsibilities.
  2. Not Engaged: feeling burned out, tired, and bored at work are all signs you are not engaged. You take every opportunity you can to make yourself invisible. 50% of the American workforce is adept at blending in with the rest of the herd. 
  3. Actively Engaged: you strive to take on more responsibility and tasks. You are actively participating in meetings and ensuring you are seen and heard. Actively engaged employees also tend to work overtime and during the weekends. 

If you’re not engaged, work fatigue and burnout might be one of the reasons behind this. According to the Mayo Clinic, work fatigue is described as “a practically continual state of weariness that develops over time, diminishing your energy, motivation, and focus.”

Maybe your current career isn’t contributing positively to your professional growth anymore. Your mental and physical state are often the first signs that your workplace is depleting your energy through a lack of enthusiasm, willingness to be a team player, autonomy, and work performance overall. 

#2: You aren’t being appreciated…and it’s taking a toll on your confidence

Usually, when we feel valued at work, it’s through recognition for efforts that support business success or team goals. But, when your achievements and wins constantly go unnoticed, you start to disconnect from the work and, eventually, the company itself.

No hard work should ever go unnoticed, especially impactful work. However, if you’re not being seen for your greatness, it could be a sign that you should explore other job opportunities

How to tell if your confidence is being depleted at work? Some confidence killers include:

  • A boss who constantly micromanages you
  • Fear of failure due to constant pressure
  • Lack of support in your role
  • Lack of positive reinforcement and regular check-ups

The hard part is that most of these confidence killers occur after you start your job and get to know your team and manager more personally. So if you find yourself  daydreaming about what else is out there , it may be time to take the first step towards something new.. 

#3: You have nightmares that are impacting your health

A recent survey by SleepZoo found that over two-thirds of Americans dream about their stressful jobs. According to Deirdre Leigh Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, “the findings aren’t surprising given people dream about what’s important to them.” We spend a significant portion of our waking hours at work, which holds a lot of emotional significance for most individuals.

The pandemic has heightened this phenomenon for most people, as the boundaries between work and personal life were obliterated, the two worlds shifted into one. 

One of the reasons why dreams about your job take the form of negative nightmares is because jobs can involve difficulties that induce anxiety and stress. In addition, nightmares are often triggered by powerlessness and vulnerability. If your purpose at work isn’t serving you or you don’t feel valued, your sleep patterns can be affected negatively. Finding a career you actually love can alleviate these occurrences. 

#4: You’re experiencing waves of emotions, from emptiness to anger

Imagine you’re on a rocket ship for one of those new space visits, and the engine suddenly dies. Luckily you have your helmet on, but now you’re lost in space, trying to find your way back. Floating by at work or languishing can mean you’re still developing yourself as a professional, or you no longer find the same meaning in your role.

A pre-pandemic study found that 55% of the workforce may languish at any given moment. Sociologist Corey Keyes gave this not-so-new state of weariness the term in 2002, which is now more prevalent than ever. Lingering has even been referred to as the emotion of 2022.

When your work responsibilities become monotonous and boring, your work day feels endless, and you may end up scrolling through social media for hours on end. When no interest or stimulation is involved in your work duties or the role, it can lead to anger and frustration. 

No one wants to let time pass by and float through the waves of emotions you may be experiencing at work due to a lack of motivation when you can take the wheel and redefine your presence by hitting the reset button.   

#5: You’ve started to envision yourself doing something different

Have you recently found yourself researching new job titles or programs to gain new skills? If so, you’re way past quitting quietly and ready to leave for good. LinkedIn is one of the main ways you can use to signal that you’re ready to find a new career. Over 12 million LinkedIn members are signaling their availability to work through the use of LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork feature. 

Pro tip: If you’re worried about your current employer finding out that you’re looking for something new, make sure you choose the option to hide your profile from recruiters at your current company. 

Finding a new career might be scary, but the tech industry is booming now and always looking for new talent in many areas such as marketing, engineering, operations and much more. The IT sector is expected to rise by 13% between 2020 and 2030. As a result of the industry’s rapid expansion, salaries are increasing far more swiftly than in other sectors. 

Don’t just quiet quit. Find work you love.

It’s essential you listen to the signs your mind and body are giving you. If your overall well-being  is enabling you to quiet quit, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate your current job. 

Taking the first step is always the most daunting, but it’s not a good enough reason for you to stay unhappy in your current career. It’s never too late to upskill and try to aim for a new position at your current company, or reskill and find a new career that brings you more satisfaction, keeps you engaged, and boosts your career on every level. 

If you’re ready to quit loud and proud instead of quiet quitting, register for one of our free upcoming workshops to test out your new career path.


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