Quiet Quitting – Not So Silent This Labor Day

Labor Day was originally celebrated in 1894 as an American holiday to celebrate the labor movement, contribution, and achievements after riots from workers demanding a better work life balance and conditions.

Many workers in the late 1800s and early 1900s spent an entire day tending a machine in a large, crowded, noisy room. Others worked in coal mines, steel mills, railroads, slaughterhouses, and in other dangerous occupations. Most were not paid well, and the typical workday was 12 hours or more, six days per week.

When Labor Day was initiated as a holiday, people might have dreamt of traveling the US or world, but even if they did, few had time or funds to do so. Even if they had mental stress, they did not have much time to focus on how they felt. Afterall, the average life expectancy during that timeframe was 49 years of age and a good share of it was at work so family time was at a premium and oh so valued. Today, the average life expectancy in the US is 77 years old.

How times have changed! Flash forward today to an average of a five-day work week with only some, but not the majority of positions working six days a week.

If you work for a private company, you typically get at least six paid holidays off a year and many in both trade and management get more. There are a total of eleven federal holidays. According to US department of labor, the average work week right now for those people ages 25-54 is 40.5 hours and an average of 34.6 hours a week if you add in all people who reported wages earned. In addition, sick, personal, vacation time often rolled all into what’s called PTO is most prevalent of 15 days in construction management, paid or unpaid.

We interview construction management people quite often now who chose to work rather than use all their accrued vacation. Yet a new buzz word has entered the workforce, by means of social media- “Quiet Quitting.”

Here’s your Money Briefing Podcast host. J.R. Whalen and Lindsey Ellis, Wall Street Journal reporter, discuss workplace stress and the new term fueled by TikTok called “Quiet Quitting.”

Here is what they had to say about quiet quitting: “This is what some professionals are referring to when they say they’re just not going to think too hard about their jobs, especially when they’re off the clock. These people are rejecting the idea of going above and beyond in their careers, and they’re calling this lesser enthusiasm a form of quitting, as a backlash to what maybe earlier workers would’ve dubbed the hustle culture, this always on, constantly climbing, workplace attitude. So, the quiet quitters, they don’t actually want to quit their job and get off the company payroll, but they really want to focus their time on the things that they do outside of the office. Be it their hobbies, or their family, or even side hustles.”

One man on TikTok, Zaid Con, put it really well when he said “You’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality, that work has to be your life. The reality is, it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.” End quote from the podcast.

The Money Briefing Podcast is well done and less than 10 minutes long with stats. It is well worth the listen if you want to know more about the topic.

Google sums up quiet quitting as a trend that has been rising in popularity on TikTok and social media in recent weeks. It doesn’t actually involve quitting a job but doing less at work—perhaps refusing to work overtime or answer emails outside of work hours.

Other authors are saying things in regard to quiet quitting like: “No longer are individuals subscribing to the neoliberal ‘hustle’ culture, which puts materialism and profits over human-centered values, such as compassion and self-development.“(Maria Kordowicz, Phd, 2022)

LinkedIn says “Suddenly, everyone seems to be talking about “quiet quitting” — so, what is it? In a nutshell, “quiet quitting” is when a worker meets their minimum job requirements…and that’s it. This can mean radio silence after 5PM, avoiding non-mandatory meetings and events or turning down projects:”

If you are a regular reader of our blog you know our blogs are filled with messages about learning to align your personal and professional expectations with those of your supervisor and employer for mutuality. Our business is designed around a process of “dating for jobs” for mutual fulfillment, commitment, and if it is not aligning with personal goals, how to communicate for a mutual farewell before you get an unexpected departure. Although we do this, we make it a point to stress skill can be taught and attitude and aptitude cannot.  How you effectively communicate what you need to create total down time for yourself makes all the difference in the world to your work family. I define this as time when you can totally shut down from thinking about work so you can focus on you, your well-being and the well-being of your friends and family without hurting your associates or the business you work for – your work family. Communicating and setting boundaries that work for both you, your associates and your employer makes all the difference for you, them, and your career.

Our recent article titled Time to Shut Down provides tips on how to identify a work life balance and how to communicate to help you unplug without getting unplugged permanently from your job as others see you not committed.

Another article we featured was called Work is Part of Your Life to help you keep your family first, but also provide solutions for your boss when you can’t be there.

As you celebrate this Labor Day weekend, I hope you will be thankful for your place of employment, work family and the progress we have made in this great country. If you are not excited to be going back to work on Tuesday and eager to do more than the basic minimum, maybe you should officially quit. Quiet quitting isn’t cool at all as it robs from you as a person and your career growth and your employer who can have someone who wants to strive to do more in their current position.

To Eliminating the Quiet Quitting Movement,

Suzanne Breistol


Leave a reply

Your email addres will not be published.
Required fields are marked with

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.