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WTF is Quiet Quitting!?

By September 9, 2022No Comments

Probably weirder not to acknowledge the recent passing of a monarch so I’ll hit that head-on. While the news is relatively raw and bearing in mind NZ has a tendency to be a tad royalist leaning, the official press release coming out of Rice is one of respect and compassion. Would I be opposed to smelting down the carriage throne/crown/carriage to help the average Brit deal with their impending exorbitant energy bills? No, but I appreciate that people have attachments so will tread carefully and respectfully. I was actually back in Blighty only last week, well for the past couple of weeks. Ol mate has been hitting the blogs out of the park in my absence with a trilogy that would make George A. Romero proud. While Gov was attempting to implement a process as braindead as the hoards in Georgy’s zombie flicks, I was sunning myself on the shores of my beloved Jersey.  I find it pretty easy to switch off from work, I’m not one of these ‘by week 3 I was bored’ type recruiters. This isn’t to say that recruitments long shadow doesn’t occasionally block out the UVs whilst I lounge in the sun. As a result, there was a term that kept persisting its way onto my timeline over and over again and eventually forced me to download Tik Tok. Quiet Quitting.

I’m the second youngest in the office, senior only to our onsite developer who is in truth an old soul. By that I mean he is a Level 20 Paladin with +2 spell casting, divine smite & sacred oath who wouldn’t bother with something as trivial as this coined term. As one of the youngees, it’s up to me to explain new slang and buzz words to the fogeys. Who could forget such classics like catfishing and gaslighting!? QQ however seems a little different, mainly because I feel dumber after explaining the definition. I’ll go with the first thing served up on Google by CNN, for those that don’t know it is essentially – “employees choosing to not go above and beyond their jobs in ways that include refusing to answer emails during evenings or weekends, or skipping extra assignments that fall outside their core duties” I can already see Jon’s furrowed brow reminiscent of the Mansplaining explanation. With good reason too! It’s f*cking nuts right??

Maybe this new trend seems even more foreign to us in our industry because going ‘above and beyond’ is part of the job description. If a candidate calls at 6 pm and you don’t take that call guess what? They are calling the other recruiter who left them a message. If they pick up, they organize a face-to-face for the following day. Then by the time you get to speak to them they’ve been love bombed into dust and given all their availability to the plucky and enthusiastic young man or woman that took time out of their day to assist them in their job search. When I was a wide-eyed 24-year-old gracing the then PWC now HSBC tower in my first recruitment gig I was going into a super high-performing office. Me and my shiny suit purchased on Bangkok’s Khao San Road were doing back-to-back 12-hour shifts just to try and get up to speed with the recruitment powerhouses around me. JW used to remind me that I was a one-hit wonder after hitting $80K in my third month, I never repeated the feat. I discovered bars and different social circles in truth. Not meaning to dine out on a month of billings from almost a decade ago, the point is that if I left the office at 5:30 pm on the dot like Fred Flintstone on the back of that dinosaur some eyebrows would’ve been raised, and rightly so.

The further down the rabbit hole I got the more I realised how F’d Gen Z truly are. I wasn’t sure if this was satire at first but after trudging through the “yasss queen” themed comments I came to the conclusion that it was not. This content creators (sigh) point in this video is that if your manager asks you to do something at 8:59 am or 5:01 pm you can tell them to kick rocks. In another self-entitled, main character ridden Tik, or is it Tok? 1.8M people have loved the pantomime indignation at the thought of picking up some slack. In our industry, it is not uncommon to do the job of the role you’re hoping to achieve before actually getting the title. It’s how people see if you can handle it. Not trying to weaponize the term Team Player but helping your colleagues out with something exhibits some moral fiber and a bit of work ethic. I’m all for people having a work-life balance but it doesn’t hurt your career to be a little less obtuse. To dust off a phrase from my generation ‘D’uhhh!”

I think what possibly winds me up the most about this recent and hopefully, soon-to-be-forgotten trend is that it implies Gen Z does go above and beyond as a default. That now they are protesting against an unfair and mean system.  I know that every generation tends to dump on the next and as a millennial myself, we got rinsed! But I fear for the future of our industry if this is what is getting paddled directly to their google glasses, that doing the bare minimum is not only celebrated but seen as a social crusade. Back in my day, we had only had 3G’s, and god dammit we were happy!