Like other social networks, TikTok users share almost everything about their lives on the app, from their favorite music and TV shows to their anxieties about work. In fact, talk about the latter has increased significantly in recent weeks as videos about “quiet quitting” generate millions of views among young professionals. The phrase is meant to convey the opposite idea of “hustle culture,” another popular work-related topic on TikTok that encourages people to devote themselves entirely to their careers. Quiet quitting, on the other hand, advocates for workers to focus on other aspects of their lives rather than concentrating solely on professional development.
In some instances, the term refers to employees who are tired of letting work worries consume their thoughts. “The most interesting part about it is nothing’s changed,” said 41-year-old TikTok user Clayton Farris in a video about quiet quitting. “I still work just as hard. I still get just as much accomplished. I just don’t stress and internally rip myself to shreds.” Others define quiet quitting as refusing to work beyond 40 hours a week while avoiding extra training and off-hours social events with colleagues. “I took a step back and said, ‘I’m just going to work the hours I’m supposed to work, that I’m really getting paid to work,’” said Paige West, a 24-year-old who worked as a transportation analyst in Washington, D.C. “Besides that, I’m not going to go extra.”
Another video from 24-year-old engineer Zaid Khan defines quiet quitting as being against ambition for ambition’s sake. “You’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” said Khan. “You’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.” Experts claim that today’s professionals could be more inclined towards quiet quitting after enduring the dislocating effects of the pandemic while also enjoying increased power in a strong labor market. At the same time, other users are warning workers about possibly overburdening colleagues with extra tasks. “Some people are taking quiet quitting as in passive aggressively withdrawing, and that doesn’t win for everyone,” said Gabriella Judge, a 25-year-old customer service representative in Denver. “It isn’t always about you. You’re on a team, you’re in a department.”
- What is “quiet quitting,” and how does it differ from “hustle culture?”
- Why do you think today’s workers are concerned with creating healthy boundaries between their home and work lives?
Source: Lindsay Ellis and Angela Yang, “If Your Co-Workers Are ‘Quiet Quitting,’ Here’s What That Means,” The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2022; Alyson Krueger, “Who Is Quiet Quitting For?” The New York Times, August 23, 2022.